Puerto Rico 6, United States 5
The United States staged a valiant comeback in the top of the ninth, but it wasn't enough. The reason it wasn't enough was a sixth-inning throwing error by 3B Nolan Arenado that allowed the inning to continue and two runs to score (more on this in the Andrew Miller recap below). This error not only wasted Team USA's ninth-inning rally, but also solo shots off the bats of C Buster Posey and CF Adam Jones. While this loss doesn't end the USA's title hopes, it does make it harder for them to advance to the semifinals in Los Angeles. The path to the final four for the US now involves winning a rematch against the Dominican Republic. The first half of their First Round matchup proves that it isn't impossible, but the question is whether the United States can overcome the mental baggage from what happened in the second half of that game. Puerto Rico, on the other hand, clinched a spot in Los Angeles with this win and will finish their Second Round this afternoon against an already-eliminated Venezuelan side (yes, they really are eliminated this time).
Francisco Lindor (Puerto Rico, SS) - 1-4, 1 R - Lindor only reached base once on Friday, but he scored a run and extended his hitting streak to four games.
Andrew Miller (United States, RP) - 1 IP, 2 K - Miller had another solid outing in his second appearance in as many Second Round games. Unfortunately, two inherited runners scored with him on the mound for reasons outside his control. He was unlucky enough to be the man on the mound when Arenado's crucial fielding blunder occurred. The good news for Indians fans, however, is that Miller keeps getting better as the WBC goes on and he seems to be benefiting from the experience of pitching in meaningful games this early.
Joe Colon (Puerto Rico, RP) - H (2), 1 IP, perfect, 1 K - Colon remains unscored upon in 3.1 IP in three games in a stellar WBC following this perfect eighth inning, which proved crucial to Puerto Rico''s victory.
Puerto Rico - 2-0 (ADVANCES)
United States - 1-1
Dominican Republic - 1-1
Venezuela - 0-2 (ELIMINATED)
That does it for Day 12 of the WBC. Come back tomorrow for a recap of Day 13, which includes a crucial winner-take-all matchup between the United States and the Dominican Republic for the final spot in Los Angeles, a not-so-crucial matinee contest between Puerto Rico and Venezuela, and exhibition games for Japan and the Netherlands.