SAN DIEGO — Puerto Rico defeated the US 6-5 Friday at the World Baseball Classic to punch its ticket to the semifinals and keep its unbeaten streak intact.
Second baseman Javier Baez, who won a World Series with the Chicago Cubs just four months ago, singled, stole three bases and scored a run for Puerto Rico, who finished runner-up in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
Puerto Rico improved to 5-0 in the tournament as it built its early lead Friday on six singles in an explosive four-run first inning in front of a crowd of 32,000 at Petco Park.
A throwing error by American third baseman Nolan Arenado gave it two unearned runs and a 6-3 lead in the sixth.
The US and the Dominican Republic, both 1-1, will play Saturday night for the fourth and final berth in the semifinals.
Two-time winner Japan and the Netherlands already have qualified.
The final round of the 16-team tournament begins Monday in Los Angeles with the championship game at Dodger Stadium two nights later. — AFP