Team USA wins in 4th try

Stro­man si­lences top scor­ing squad UNITED STATES 8, PUERTO RICO 0

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Beth Har­ris

los angeles» Mar­cus Stro­man tossed six hit­less in­nings, Ian Kinsler slugged a two-run homer and the United States routed Puerto Rico 8-0 on Wed­nes­day night to win its first World Base­ball Clas­sic in four tries.

Stro­man dom­i­nated the tour­na­ment’s high­est-scor­ing team. Puerto Rico lost for the first time in eight games af­ter outscor­ing the op­po­si­tion 55-26. The U.S. ter­ri­tory fin­ished run­ner-up for the sec­ond time, hav­ing lost to the Do­mini­can Repub­lic in the 2013 fi­nal.

Stro­man, who was named the tour­na­ment’s MVP, avenged his shak­i­ness in the Amer­i­cans’ 6-5 loss to Puerto Rico dur­ing pool play. The right-han­der from the Toronto Blue Jays re­tired the side on three grounders to open the game. In all, he gave up one hit, struck out three and walked one on 73 pitches.

He al­lowed just three balls past the in­field un­til An­gel Pa­gan’s dou­ble in the left-field cor­ner lead­ing off the seventh, when Stro­man de­parted to a stand­ing ova­tion, hav­ing staked the Amer­i­cans to a 7-0 lead.

Stro­man walked Car­los Bel­tran lead­ing off the sec­ond, but the de­fense helped him out. Yadier Molina hit the ball to short­stop Bran­don Craw­ford, who started a dou­ble play be­fore Stro­man struck out Javier Baez to end the in­ning.

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.

Kinsler home­red off an 0-1 pitch from Seth Lugo into left­cen­ter field in the third, scor­ing Jonathan Lu­croy, who had led off with a sin­gle.

Lugo of the New York Mets al­lowed four runs and five hits, struck out seven and walked four in four in­nings. The right-han­der won his first two starts of the tour­na­ment, in­clud­ing in the sec­ond round against Stro­man and the U.S.

In that game, Stro­man gave up six con­sec­u­tive sin­gles in a four-run first in­ning and took the loss against Puerto Rico on Fri­day in San Diego.

The Amer­i­cans made it 4-0 in the fifth on RBI sin­gles by Chris­tian Yelich and Andrew McCutchen.

Fans wore flags of both coun­tries as capes and dec­o­rated their faces in team col­ors. Puerto Rico boost­ers pounded cow­bells, tooted horns and blew whis­tles early on be­fore their team fell be­hind 4-0.

Fans were on their feet chant­ing “U-S-A” when the Amer­i­cans loaded the bases in the seventh with two outs. They were re­warded with Craw­ford’s tworun sin­gle that chased J.C. Romero, ex­tend­ing the lead to 6-0.

The U.S. tacked on an­other run on Giancarlo Stan­ton’s RBI sin­gle off Hi­ram Bur­gos past short­stop Fran­cisco Lin­dor.

Bur­gos’ wild pitch moved run­ners to sec­ond and third be­fore he walked Lu­croy to load the bases a sec­ond time. Kinsler flied out to end the in­ning.

The Amer­i­cans led 8-0 in the eighth on McCutchen’s RBI sin­gle with two outs.

The U.S. de­feated two-time cham­pion Ja­pan, while Puerto Rico beat the Nether­lands to reach the fi­nal.

The three games at Dodger Sta­dium drew 109,892.

Team USA’s Eric Hos­mer, cen­ter top, who made the fi­nal out, and his team­mates cel­e­brate af­ter their 8-0 win Wed­nes­day night over Puerto Rico in the World Base­ball Clas­sic cham­pi­onship game at Dodger Sta­dium in Los Angeles. Harry How, Getty Images

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