Team USA Powers Past Canada

A tournament-record-tying nine-run first inning propels the U.S. atop Pool C
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Canada 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 0
USA 9 3 0 0 0 0 0 12 9  0


PHOENIX, Ariz. – Capped by a three-run homer from Mike Trout, Team USA put up a tournament-record-tying nine runs in the bottom of the first inning and never looked back en route to a 12-1 run-rule victory over Canada in seven innings on Monday night at Chase Field. The U.S. now sits atop the Pool C standings with a 2-1 record.

The United States is now one win away from clinching its spot in the World Baseball Classic quarterfinal round.

The nine-run first was the most runs the U.S. has ever scored in a single inning at the World Baseball Classic and tied the tournament’s overall record. The stars and stripes got to work immediately as Mookie Betts led off with a base hit, and the U.S. quickly loaded the bases thanks to a pair of walks. Nolan Arenado then ripped his team-leading third double to left field to drive in a pair and open the scoring. Kyle Tucker followed with a sacrifice fly to plate Paul Goldschmidt, and J.T. Realmuto hit an RBI-single up the middle to increase the lead to four.

After Trea Turner drove in the fifth run of the inning on an RBI-fielder’s choice, Cedric Mullins brought him home by smacking the first pitch he saw for an RBI-triple to the wall in right field. Then, Trout put the finishing touches on the record-tying frame with a three-run blast to left-center, giving the stars and stripes a 9-0 lead. In total, the U.S. sent 12 batters to the plate in the bottom of the first, with both Betts and Trout reaching base twice in the inning.

Canada cracked the scoreboard with a run in the top of the second before Team USA’s bats got back to work in the home half of the inning. After a leadoff walk to Arenado, Tim Anderson split the gap in right-center field for an RBI-triple, the second three-bagger of the night for the United States. Anderson quickly came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Realmuto, andTurner followed with a mammoth shot to left field to extend the stars and stripes’ lead to 12-1. Turner’s 409-foot blast was the fourth of the tournament for Team USA, giving them the most home runs in Pool C.

While the U.S. offense dominated, the pitching followed suit. Starting pitcher Lance Lynn (1-0) set the tone for the red, white, and blue, turning in five innings of two-hit baseball, allowing just one run. Lynn punched out six and did not walk a batter in the win. Miles Mikolas entered in relief and delivered a similarly strong performance on the mound, pitching two scoreless innings with two strikeouts to lock down the win.

Arenado (1-for-3, 2 RBIs), Realmuto (2-for-2, 2 RBIs), Trout (1-for-2, 3 RBIs), and Turner (1-for-4, 2 RBIs) all drove in multiple runs in the victory. Eight of the nine batters in the starting lineup registered at least one hit for the U.S., which collected six extra-base hits. Anderson (2-for-3, RBI) and Mullins (1-for-3, RBI) both had a triple to give Team USA a tournament-leading three. Additionally, six different U.S. players scored multiple runs on Monday night.

Team USA returns to action Wednesday night for its pool play finale against Colombia (1-1). The game will be televised nationally on Fox Sports 1, with first pitch set for 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. MT. The U.S. would clinch its spot in the quarterfinal round with a win.