Meneses Homers Twice, Mexico Clobbers U.S. 11-5 in WBC
16:57 JST, March 13, 2023
PHOENIX (AP) — Joey Meneses hit two homers, including a crucial three-run shot in the fourth inning, to lead Mexico to an 11-5 win over the United States in the World Baseball Classic on Sunday at Chase Field.
Meneses got the sellout crowd of 47,534 — mostly cheering for Mexico — on its feet in the first inning with his first homer, which gave Mexico a 2-0 lead. Those cheers got even louder in the fourth for his encore, which was a blast deep into the left-center seats that brought home Randy Arozarena and Alex Verdugo and made it 7-1.
Meneses hit his first homer off starter Nick Martinez, who took the loss, and the second off Brady Singer. Mexico starter Patrick Sandoval gave up one run over three innings, earning the win.
The 30-year-old Meneses became an unlikely MLB slugger in 2022 after spending over a decade in the minors and playing overseas. He debuted with the Nationals last season, batting .324 with 13 homers in just 222 at-bats.
Mexico kept piling onto the lead in the eighth, sending nine players to the plate and scoring four runs off Daniel Bard to make it 11-2.
The Americans scored three runs in the eighth to make the final outcome more respectable. Tim Anderson had two hits and three RBIs, while Will Smith hit a solo homer.
In Tokyo, Japan won Group B with a 4-0 record and will play a quarterfinal Thursday against Italy, which advanced along with Cuba from Group A on tiebreakers. Matt Harvey got the win as Italy defeated the Netherlands 7-1, causing all five teams to finish 2-2.
South Korea beat the Czech Republic 7-3 in the day’s other Pool B game, and Cuba defeated Taiwan 7-1 in Pool A.
In Pool C, Canada beat Great Britain 18-8 before Mexico’s big win over the U.S. In Pool D, Venezuela beat Puerto Rico 9-6 and Israel topped Nicaragua 3-1.
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