Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
PHOENIX — The United States scored nine runs against Canada in the first inning, highlighted by a three-run homer from Mike Trout, and went on to win 12-1 by mercy rule in seven innings on Monday in a pivotal Pool C game at the World Baseball Classic.
The victory was much-needed after the U.S. team’s 11-5 loss to Mexico. The Americans are 2-1 while Canada, Mexico and Colombia are 1-1. Great Britain is last at 1-2. The top two teams qualify for the quarterfinal round that starts Friday in Miami.
On Tuesday, Mexico plays Great Britain, and Canada faces Colombia. The U.S. does not play again until Wednesday against Colombia in the last day of the games in Phoenix.
The U.S. forced the early exit of Texas Rangers left-handed prospect Mitch Bratt, the losing pitcher for Canada, after taking a 4-0 lead with one out in the first inning.
Veteran right-hander Lance Lynn, entering his 12th season in the major leagues, his third with the Chicago White Sox, tossed five innings of one-run ball for the win.
Lynn struck out six, issued no walks and allowed only one hit, a second-inning home run by Jared Young. The St. Louis Cardinals’ Miles Mikolas finished up with two scoreless innings.
The United States’ nine-run first inning was the team’s highest-scoring frame in World Baseball Classic history.
Mookie Betts, 1-for-10 in the United States’ first two games, singled to lead off the first inning. Trout and Paul Goldschmidt then walked to load the bases.
Nolan Arenado followed with a double, scoring Betts and Trout. Kyle Tucker (sacrifice fly), J.T. Realmuto (single), Trea Turner (forceout) and Cedric Mullins (triple) added RBIs.
On Trout’s second trip up in the inning, he belted a three-run home run to center field off R.J. Freure to put the U.S. ahead 9-0.
The Americans built the lead to 12-1 in the bottom of the second on Tim Anderson’s RBI triple, Realmuto’s sacrifice fly and Trea Turner’s home run.
Realmuto, the No. 7 batter in the lineup, went 2-for-2 with two RBIs.
The United States, which finished with 10 hits and six walks, had at least one hit from each of its players in the starting lineup except for Kyle Tucker, who went 0-for-3.
–Javier Morales, Field Level Media