MIAMI (AP) — Adam Jones hit the winning RBI single with two out in the 10th inning Friday night, and the United States overcame a two-run deficit to beat Colombia 3-2 in their opening game at the World Baseball Classic.
The Americans improved their all-time WBC record to 11-10. They failed to make the finals in the three previous events and next face the Dominican Republic, the defending champions.
U.S. starter Chris Archer retired all 12 batters he faced. Archer, coming off a 9-19 season with Tampa Bay, struck out three and needed only 41 pitches to get through four innings.
He was removed by manager Jim Leyland well shy of the limit of 65 pitches for the first round.
Colombian starter Carlos Quintana was also dominant, holding the Americans hitless until Brandon Crawford singled with two out in the sixth. Quintana was then pulled because he had thrown 63 pitches, and Colombia’s 2-0 lead was soon gone, too.
William Cuevas gave up an RBI double by Jones and threw a wild pitch that allowed the tying run to score in the sixth.
With one out in the 10th, Christian Yelich and Crawford walked against Guillermo Moscoso, and both advanced on a groundout. The noisy crowd of 22,580 was on its feet when Jones lined a single on an 0-2 pitch and was mobbed by his teammates.
Pat Neshek struck out Jesus Valdez with two on to end the Colombian ninth. Tyler Clippard pitched around a walk in the 10th to earn the win.
The Americans won with just six hits.
Marcus Stroman is scheduled to start for the United States against the Dominican Republic’s Edinson Volquez before a sellout crowd Saturday night. The Dominicans won their opening game Thursday against Canada.
The Colombians were making their WBC debut after qualifying for the first time, and they took a 2-0 lead with three consecutive two-out doubles in the fifth off Mychal Givens. Jesus Valdez pulled a ball into the gap to become the Colombians’ first baserunner, and Adrian Sanchez and Mauricio Ramos followed with RBI hits.
Single-A center fielder Tito Polo of Colombia retreated to make running catches and rob Jones and Ian Kinsler of extra-base hits, and made a sprawling catch of Nolan Arenado’s liner with the score tied and two on to end the eighth.
The Colombians had a chance to break a 2-all tie with two on and one out in the eighth, but Gold Glove third baseman Arenado turned an inning-ending double play.
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