The United States’ baseball team held on to a 3-1 win over the Dominican Republic in the knockout stage of the baseball tournament.
Scott Kazmir pitched five shutout innings in the win as Triston Casas and Tyler Austin homered for the Americans.
Kazmir ran into trouble early in the first inning. An Erick Mejia double, a dropped fly ball by Pat Kivlehan and a walk to Juan Francisco loaded the bases with one out for the Dominicans. But the next batter, Casas made a heads-up play to throw Mejia out at home on a ground ball to keep the game scoreless. Kazmir then forced a ground out to end the threat.
The offense of the Americans answered with Casas staying red hot, launching a two-run home run in the bottom of the 1st. It was the Boston Red Sox prospect’s third home run of the tournament.
Gabriel Arias took over pitching duties at the start of the 5th inning after four innings from starter Denyi Reyes. Tyler Austin extended the U.S. lead to 3-0 with a solo shot off Arias to deep center field, his second home run of the Games.
Down to their final out, the Dominican Republic did break the shutout as Charlie Valerio hit a solo home run off of closer David Robertson to make it a 3-1 game. After a walk, Robertson struck out Yefri Perez to close out the victory.
It was a rocky start for Kazmir, but the three-time MLB All-Star settled in after, allowing just two hits and no runs while striking out five across five innings for the win.
Brandon Dickson, Scott McGough and Anthony Gose all pitched a scoreless inning in relief before Robertson earned the save in the 9th.
The U.S. will wait and play the loser of the South Korea-Japan game. That semifinal game will be Thursday, Aug. 5 at 6 a.m. ET.
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