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Stroman started that game, too, allowing four runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings of work.

Team USA fans seem to have warmed to the WBC this year, but nothing can compare with the feelings in Puerto Rico, where men are dying their hair a la the team's players, who became bottle blondes in a gesture of solidarity before the WBC began. It's the first time the United States has reached the WBC final. The United States has never won the tournament, with Japan's taking the crown twice in 2006 and 2009, and the Dominican Republic's winning in 2013. Those are three of the most boring plays in baseball, and if MLB actually implements its proposed rule to start the 11th inning and beyond with men on first and third, we'll be seeing scores of games decided by some combination of those plays. It won't get any easier for them in their first championship game appearance, as they face off against undefeated Puerto Rico, themselves a star-studded team. They followed that up with a 3-0 showing in the second round, with wins over the Dominican Republic, the United States of America, and another win over Venezuela.

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After the game, Stroman was all smiles and did mention his mother, but said nothing malicious about Puerto Rican players or fans at all. "When we were in Mexico, we told the governor in Puerto Rico that if we made it to the finals, we need to plane to get back and celebrate with our people". Stroman tweeted his excitement to have the chance to represent Puerto Rico in this year's WBC before he ultimately changed his mind.

TJ Rivera hit a home run of his own in the bottom of the second to put Puerto Rico ahead, but the Netherlands wouldn't go away quietly.

After a tough semifinal game, Nolan Arenado went 2-for-5 with two runs scored.

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New York Mets right-hander Seth Lugo will start for Puerto Rico in the championship game while the USA will counter with Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman. They defeated an undefeated Japanese team in a steady rainstorm, rare in the Los Angeles area.

"They outplayed us. They outscored us".

Stroman walked Carlos Beltran leading off the second, but the defense helped him out.

Lugo of the New York Mets allowed four runs and five hits, struck out seven and walked four in four innings. Giancarlo Stanton continued the seventh inning rally with a run-scoring single after Craword to make it a 7-0 game.

In the fourth inning, Christian Yelich hit a hard groundball at Japanese second baseman Ryosuke Kikuchi, who was playing on the outfield grass to have extra time to react to a hard-hit ball such as that.


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