USA took home the key victory with home runs from Adam Jones and Eric Hosmer lifting Team USA in the eighth inning to win 4-2.
"When you lose (3-1 to Puerto Rico in Tuesday's Pool F opener), you open your eyes and you say, 'it's not so simple, "' Pena said. After a few minutes in the clubhouse, the team returned to the field waving small flags and ran over to celebrate with a large group of fans on the first-base side who were chanting, beating drums, rattling noisemakers and waving flags.
"I'm old", Molina said. We're happy for our country and for our people.
Puerto Rico kept the door open for U.S. with some baserunning miscues.
Pat Neshek (1-0), who had a brief stint with the Padres in 2011, worked the eighth for the win.
While things remain great for Puerto Rico at the WBC, Team USA will have to defeat the Dominican Republic on Saturday to earn the second spot from Pool F in the semifinals. "If it was in the middle of the season, they would be able to play, but right now where we're at, we still feel that it's prudent to take it slow", he said.
With most of the 32,463 fans on their feet and chanting in the top of the ninth, a USA rally fell just short.
Brandon Crawford hit a two-out, two-run triple off Edwin Diaz in the ninth before Josh Harrison struck out to end the game.
Puerto Rico can sweep the pool when it plays Venezuela (0-2) on Saturday afternoon.
You also have, in all likelihood, a competition problem given that the Americans' other competitors in the Petco Park grouping, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, are loaded. Then Givens went 3-0 on Eddie Rosario and United States of America manager Jim Leyland had seen enough. "You guys have no integrity.' They don't want to put out the face of 'we made a mistake, '" Gonzalez said.
Thanks to a big first inning and a crucial sixth inning error, Puerto Rico is on their way to the World Baseball Classic semi-finals. Jones hit a grounder to 3rd base and Rougned Odor tried to start a double play.
The last time these two teams faced each other was in the first round when the United States blew a 5-0 led to the Dominican Republic by allowing seven unanswered runs. Crawford then tripled to the left-center field gap - replays showed he was probably out at third base - and the USA trailed by a single run. The Pirates' emerging 25-year-old outfielder no longer is a secret around Major League Baseball, not after a breakout 2016 in which he set career-highs in homers (22) and RBIs (58), totaled 58 extra-base hits and led NL right fielders in assists.
"They're trying to become the World Cup, but they're not even close to being the Little League World Series", the Dodgers first baseman said Wednesday. "It gave us so much confidence for the rest of the game".
To beat Puerto Rico, the United States is going to need another strong pitching performance from Marcus Stroman. Posey's second homer of the tourney went an estimated 398 feet to left-center. Javier Baez got hit by a pitch and stole second base to start the inning by Mychal Givens. He summoned Andrew Miller from the bullpen with the 3-0 count.
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