SAN DIEGO (AP) — Yadier Molina and Puerto Rico are moving on to the World Baseball Classic semifinals after scoring four runs in the first inning and then holding on for a wild 6-5 win against the United States on Friday night.
Puerto Rico advances to the championship round for the second straight WBC. It reached the championship game in 2013 before losing to the Dominican Republic.
By clinching Pool F with a day to go, Puerto Rico (2-0) will play the Netherlands on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.
The other semifinal spot from Pool F will go to the winner of Saturday night’s game between the United States (1-1) and the Dominican Republic (1-1). That team will play Japan on Tuesday night.
With most of the 32,463 fans on their feet and chanting in the top of the ninth, a U.S rally fell just short. Brandon Crawford hit a two-run triple to the left-center gap off Edwin Diaz with two outs to pull the Americans within a run. Diaz then struck out Josh Harrison to end it and send the Puerto Ricans into a wild celebration on the infield.