U.S. routs Puerto Rico to win first title
LOS ANGELES — The United States routed Puerto Rico 8-0 to win its first World Baseball Classic in four tries Wednesday night behind six hitless innings from Marcus Stroman. “It’s a different feeling when the USA is on your chest,”first baseman Eric Hosmer said.“We wanted to get the U.S. back on top of the baseball world, and we did that.” For a sport known as America’s pastime, the U.S. had struggled since the WBC began in 2006. Twice, the Americans lost in the second round, and they went out in the semifinals in 2009. After the final out, the Americans massed on the mound, hugging and high-fiving while fireworks exploded in center field. Some of them grabbed a U.S. flag and circled the warning track, waving it in celebration with fans in the stands. “There was only one thing on our mind, was to win this thing and to do whatever we can to win,” left fielder Christian Yelich said. “That helped us come together.” The U.S. pounded out 13 hits and finished with a 6-2 record while making the final for the first time in front of 51,565 at Dodger Stadium. Puerto Rico lost for the first time in eight games after outscoring the opposition 55-26. Tournament MVP Stroman avenged his shakiness in the Americans’ 6-5 loss to Puerto Rico during pool play. The righthander from the Toronto Blue Jays gave up one hit in six-plus innings, struck out three and walked one on 73 pitches. “I love pitching in these moments,” he said. “I love the atmosphere. I feel like the bigger the game, the more I’m able to get up, the more effective I am.”
U.S. pitcher Marcus Stroman holds up his MVP trophy after the Americans defeated Puerto Rico 8-0 in the WBC final Wednesday.