PHOENIX — Running out of outs, Adam Jones and the United States suddenly broke loose and saved themselves from a humbling loss.
Now, thanks to a fast finish, they're heading to Miami for the next round of the World Baseball Classic.
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 U.S. scored seven times in the last two innings to beat Canada 9-4 on Sunday.
"Words can't describe it," Hosmer said, recalling how he felt standing on second after his big hit. "It is hard to hold your emotions right there. It is just an unbelievable feeling and when you hear the crowd chant 'USA' and the other crowd chanting 'Canada.' It is an unbelievable experience."
The winner of the game moved on, the loser went home. And for a long while, it didn't look good for manager Joe Torre's team.
"It would have been embarrassing," second baseman Brandon Phillips said. "I would have been embarrassed. USA this is where baseball started and we represent our country. I just feel that if we had lost we didn't do our job. We have to go out there and try to be the first American team to win the WBC. That is our goal."
"We believed in ourselves and turned it around," Phillips said, "and that is a beautiful thing."
VENEZUELA 11, SPAIN 6: At San Juan, Puerto Rico, Miguel Cabrera and Pablo Sandoval hit consecutive home runs for Venezuela on Sunday in an 11-6 victory over Spain that came too late to matter at the World Baseball Classic.
Venezuela, which finished 1-2 in Group C, was eliminated from the competition Saturday night with a 6-3 loss to Puerto Rico.
Venezuela had more hits Sunday (16) than in its first two games combined. Cabrera went 3 for 5 with three RBIs and scored three runs. Omar Infante also had three hits and Elvis Andrus knocked in two runs.
Cabrera and Sandoval connected in the eighth inning.
JAPAN 16, NETHERLANDS 4: At Tokyo, Two-time defending champion Japan hit a record-tying six home runs Sunday to overpower the Netherlands 16-4 and advance to the championship round of the World Baseball Classic.
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.Comment on this story
NO SUSPENSIONS COMING: At Phoenix, The World Baseball Classic has decided no one will be suspended from the nasty brawl between Canada and Mexico.
The organizers said in a statement Sunday that while the mayhem "runs counter to the spirit of sportsmanship and respectful competition," suspensions would not be appropriate because both did not advance to the second round.
The brawl began in the ninth inning Saturday when Canada's Rene Tosoni was hit by a pitch from Mexico's Arnold Leon after Canadian Chris Robinson reached on a bunt single.