Team USA advances to World Baseball Classic finals

The Americans trounced Cuba 14-2 to advance to the championship for the second consecutive time. They will play either Japan or Mexico.
U.S.'s Paul Goldschmidt.
Posted at 12:25 PM, Mar 20, 2023

Team USA has advanced to the finals of the World Baseball Classic — again.

In a stunning performance, the unrelenting  Americans trounced Cuba 14-2 Sunday night in front of a near-sellout crowd of more than 35,000 at LoanDepot Park in Miami.

However, there was a clear undertone to the game, with protesters interrupting play three separate times.

The first held a sign that read "Libertad para los presos Cubanos del 11 de Julio (Freedom for the Cuban prisoners of July 11)," referring to 2021 demonstrations against the country's communist government.

“The team kind of represents the government over there, and people aren’t too happy about it,” said U.S. manager Mark DeRosa.

Despite distractions, the Cuban team took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but it didn't last long.

The U.S. bats came alive quickly, with a go-ahead two-run home run off the bat of Paul Goldschmidt in the bottom of the first. He finished with two hits and four runs batted in.

“For me that was one of my favorite home runs I’ve ever hit in my entire life,” Goldschmidt said.

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The game ended in mercy-rule fashion after just eight innings.


Trea Turner added to the lead in the 2nd and 6th innings, knocking two more balls over the outfield fence to give him a tournament-leading four home runs and 10 RBIs.  

“I think it took us a little bit of time, but now we kind of found our stride a little bit,” Turner said. 

The Americans tallied 14 hits, seven walks, and scored in all but one inning of play.

They will play either Japan or Mexico Tuesday night as they try to repeat as world champions.

The Japanese Samurai Warriors are the only team to win the title twice (2006, 2009).

Mexico's Joey Meneses celebrates with teammates after hitting a home run against the United States.

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Mexico's Joey Meneses blasted two home runs to propel his team past the defending tournament champions during pool play.