PHOENIX — Adam Jones doubled in the tying and go-ahead runs in the eighth inning, Eric Hosmer hit a three-run double in the ninth and the United States beat Canada 9-4 on Sunday to advance to the second round of the World Baseball Classic.
Down to their last several outs, the U.S. trailed 3-2 after seven innings before breaking loose. Team USA and Italy advanced in Group D while Canada and Mexico were eliminated.
Jones and Hosmer both had a rough week at the plate but came through with the United States on the brink of what would have been a humbling loss. Jones’ hit was his second in nine at-bats. Hosmer was 3 for 13.
Gold Glove second baseman Brandon Phillips contributed, too, making a diving stop to prevent Canada from tying it in the eighth.
Heath Bell pitched a scoreless seventh to get the victory for manager Joe Torre’s team. Jimmy Henderson took the loss.
Canada’s Michael Saunders, of the Seattle Mariners, hit a two-run homer off starter Derek Holland and was chosen the Group D MVP, going 8 for 11 in the tournament.
The United States finished group play tied with Italy at 2-1 but gets the No. 1 seed because of its 6-2 win over Italy. The U.S. meets the loser of Sunday’s Dominican Republic-Puerto Rico game Tuesday in Miami.
David Wright, whose grand slam lifted the U.S. past Italy Saturday night, doubled and walked three times. Ben Zobrist had three hits, none of which left the infield.
Canada, coming off a 10-3 win over Mexico that featured a bruising ninth-inning brawl, finished 1-2. The Canadians have not made it out of the first round for any of the three WBCs.
But they looked in great shape much of the afternoon against the United States, which was looking to avoid its worst showing ever in the tournament. The Americans made it to the second round in 2006 and the semifinals in 2009.
Japan 16, Netherlands 4
TOKYO — Two-time defending champion Japan hit a record-tying six home runs to overpower the Netherlands and advance to the championship round of the WBC.
Hayato Sakamoto hit a grand slam in the seventh to make it 16-4 and the game was called under the 10-run mercy rule when the Netherlands failed to close the gap in the bottom of the inning.
Takashi Toritani led off the game with a solo homer to right for Japan’s first home run of the tournament.