The pair of brothers powering Team Brazil in Classic qualifier

Tim and Christian Lopes were the stars of the show on Day 1

October 1st, 2022

Although they were briefly together in the Blue Jays system in 2017, brothers Tim and Christian Lopes haven't played baseball on the same team since their high school days back in Southern California. Until, well, this week ... when they both joined up with Team Brazil in the World Baseball Classic qualifiers.

The two came up big in Brazil's opening-round 12-7 win over New Zealand. The elder Lopes, Christian, had a single and two RBIs, while Tim had an RBI single and a two-run homer. Tim was pretty happy about that.

"Usually, he's the one that hits the home runs," Tim said, looking over at his brother. "I'm the smaller, little brother. It's nice to get one."

"Won't it be even better [for us] when your older brother catches up to you?" manager Steve Finley laughed.

Tim is right: Christian does have 63 professional homers, but none in the big leagues (he had nine at-bats with the A's just this season). Tim only has 52, but three of those were in the Majors during stints with the Mariners (2019-2020) and Brewers (2021).

"No, it's a blast [playing together]," Christian told me. "We've dreamed about moments like this our whole lives, and now it's happening. We're excited to be here."

The two do seem incredibly tight. They're only a couple years apart and have played the same positions most of their careers (second base and outfield). Tim even shared a heartfelt Instagram post when his brother, after 10 Minor League seasons, finally made the Majors this year with Oakland.

The two will hope to continue their strong play in the next round when they take on a pool favorite, Nicaragua, on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.

"We're trying to win, trying to make it," Christian said. "We're feeding off each other. ... We've got a job to do."

"We're really enjoying it so much. I look across the field and I see my brother. Then I look into the dugout and I see my other brothers," Tim said. "It's a really fun atmosphere."