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Colombia bests Canada for 1st Classic win

March 11, 2017

Julio Teheran, the second half of the All-Star duo at the top of Colombia's starting rotation at the World Baseball Classic, was dominant for five innings on Saturday, leading Team Colombia to a 4-1 win over Canada at Marlins Park in Miami.The win is the Colombians' first all time in

Julio Teheran, the second half of the All-Star duo at the top of Colombia's starting rotation at the World Baseball Classic, was dominant for five innings on Saturday, leading Team Colombia to a 4-1 win over Canada at Marlins Park in Miami.
The win is the Colombians' first all time in the World Baseball Classic. After their tough, 3-2 loss in 10 innings to the United States on Friday night, they've evened their record at 1-1 in Pool C. But if they want to advance to the second round, they'll likely have to beat the defending champion Dominican Republic in their final game of the first round on Sunday.
"It was not a change of mentality [from Friday to Saturday]. The mindset continued to be the same," Colombia manager Luis Urueta said. "The players kept up their momentum and energy. We had a few hours of sleep and we arrived here early -- came out with the same attitude as yesterday and came out with the same motivation and the same desire, as if the first inning today was the 11th."
:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::
Canada, meanwhile, has fallen to 0-2 in this year's Classic, which makes it unlikely that the team will be able to advance to round two. First, it will have to try to salvage a win against the U.S. on Sunday. Canada has upset the U.S. in the World Baseball Classic once before, in the inaugural 2006 tournament, but it has lost the countries' last two Classic meetings.
Possible tiebreaker scenarios loom
After getting to Teheran early -- Freddie Freeman drove in Canada's only run with a first-inning single off his Braves teammate -- the Canadian bats went cold. They didn't manage another hit after the first until a seventh-inning single by Jamie Romak, and although they strung together a couple of hits with two outs in the ninth to bring the tying run to the plate, they weren't able to mount a comeback, as Dayan Diaz struck out Romak with a 96-mph fastball to end the game.
Rogers: Hard work led to Colombia's joy
"We were disappointed that we got out of the chute real fast, scored a run and then our bats became silent," Canada manager Ernie Whitt said. "But at the end we had a chance. We had the tying run at the plate. I guess that's all you can ask for."

Teheran gets on a roll: After allowing a quick run in the first inning, Teheran started dealing. He retired the final 13 batters he faced, beginning with the final out of the first and lasting through the end of the fifth. Teheran's final line: five innings, two hits, one run and three strikeouts. He and fellow 2016 MLB All-Star Jose Quintana have combined to allow only two runs on three hits in 10 2/3 innings over Colombia's first two games of the Classic.
"The performance of both has been impressive," Urueta said. "Julio had difficulty starting the game in the first inning; he did not feel comfortable, he didn't have his command. When you make the adjustments and especially in this atmosphere, this scenario, you have to be strong mentally and a professional, and he did it." More >

Freddie gets to Julio: All-Stars Freeman and Teheran, both career Braves, have spent the last six Major League seasons as teammates in Atlanta. They faced each other in the first inning on Saturday, and the matchup went to Freeman, who ripped a changeup from Teheran into right field for an RBI single to open the scoring. More >

Hermanos Solano: Colombia's pair of brothers, Jhonatan and Donovan Solano, combined to tie up the game in the top of the third inning. Jhonatan, the designated hitter Saturday and a catcher in the Nationals' organization, led off the inning with a line-drive single to right and advanced to second on a groundout. Donovan, a shortstop who plays in the Yankees' organization, then came up and laced an RBI single to left, bringing home Jhonatan and knotting the score at one. That wasn't all for the Solanos. Donovan later knocked the go-ahead RBI single in the fifth inning, and Jhonatan extended the lead with a bases-loaded walk in the sixth.

Gagne returns:Eric Gagne, at 41 years old and nearly a decade removed from his last big league game, took the mound for Team Canada in the top of the sixth inning. Not only that, he was called on to get out of a two-out, bases-loaded jam. Gagne initially struggled to find his command, walking the first batter he faced to force in a run and going to a 3-0 count on the next hitter, but he induced an inning-ending popup to limit the damage to a run. And he came out firing: Gagne's fastball sat around 93 mph. Gagne also stayed in to pitch scoreless seventh and eighth innings.
"[Gagne] did a great job," Whitt said. "He was disappointed that he walked the first guy. You go to the situation where a guy has the most experience -- he's been there before, he's done it. You never like to see the walk [bring] a run in, but then he bounced back and gave us some strong innings and kept us in the ballgame. And that's all you ask out of your pitchers, is to keep us in the ballgame." More >

"For me, the quality of these players has always been there. I've always trusted them. Unfortunately, there are not too many Colombians in organized baseball. … But those of us who know about baseball, we know that baseball is played in Colombia. There should be no doubt about that." -- Urueta, on Colombia proving itself on the international stage
"As slim as it sounds, we still have a chance. As slim as it sounds. We have to be positive. We're going to go into tomorrow hoping to win the game. … We always try to look at something positive and we go from there."-- Whitt, on Canada's mindset going into its final game in Pool C
Colombian catcher Jorge Alfaro, the Phillies' No. 3 prospect and the No. 72 prospect in baseball according to, nailed Freeman trying to steal second base in the first inning. Alfaro's throw was clocked at 85.5 mph, according to Statcast™. In 2016, only six MLB catchers -- Gary Sanchez, Christian Bethancourt, Cameron Rupp, Martin Maldonado, J.T. Realmuto and Evan Gattis -- recorded harder throws in caught-stealings at second base.
Canada center fielder Dalton Pompey was removed from the game in the eighth inning after experiencing dizziness in the outfield during the top of the seventh. Pompey had been involved in an injury delay in the bottom of the sixth, as he appeared to be bleeding from somewhere on his face after his hard, headfirst slide into second on a stolen base. Whitt said after the game that he took Pompey out according to protocol, and that Pompey was being evaluated.
"We'll check him tomorrow -- if he has symptoms or no symptoms, he still has to go through the process of the concussion protocol that you to have," Whitt said. "We're taking precautions, all precautions that are necessary. But just what it is right now is deemed to be possibly a mild concussion."

Colombia: Colombia wraps up its Pool C schedule with a home game against the defending champion Dominican Republic team on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET. After the biggest win in the nation's baseball history, Colombia will try to follow it up with an even bigger one against the powerhouse Dominicans. Right-hander Nabil Crismatt, a 22-year-old in the Mets' system, will start for Colombia, although Urueta said Crismatt will be on a short leash. Options like Guillermo Moscoso and William Cuevas will be available to back him up.
Canada: Canada plays the final game of Pool C against the United States on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET. The Canadians will hope they can replicate their big win over the U.S. from 2006, when they won, 8-6, behind a 3-for-5 day from Justin Morneau, who is still on the team.
The World Baseball Classic runs through March 22. In the U.S., games air live exclusively in English on MLB Network and on an authenticated basis via, while ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN provide the exclusive Spanish-language coverage. MLB.TV Premium subscribers in the U.S. have access to watch every tournament game live on any of the streaming service's 400-plus supported devices. The tournament is being distributed internationally across all forms of television, internet, mobile and radio in territories excluding the U.S., Puerto Rico and Japan. Get tickets for games at Marlins Park, Tokyo Dome, Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Mexico, Petco Park, as well as the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, while complete coverage -- including schedules, video, stats and gear -- is available at

David Adler is a reporter for based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.