MIAMI — Nelson Cruz hit a go-ahead, three-run homer off Andrew Miller in the eighth inning, Starling Marte added a solo shot off the All-Star reliever and the defending champion Dominican Republic overcame a five-run deficit to beat the United States 7-5 Saturday night.
The comeback delighted a clamorous crowd of 37,446, the largest for baseball in the five-year history of Marlins Park.
The U.S. fell to 1-1 and is in jeopardy of being eliminated in the first round. The Americans, who play Canada on Sunday, failed to reach the three previous WBC finals.
The Dominicans improved to 10-0 in the past two Classics, including 2-0 this year. They can clinch first place in Pool C and advance to the second round by beating Colombia on Sunday.