R.A. Dickey back on the mound for Team USA vs. the Dominican Republic

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Below you’ll find the starting lineups for Thursday night’s second-round World Baseball Classic game between Team USA and Team Dominican Republic at Marlins Park in Miami. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET.

   TEAM USA                       TEAM DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
1. Jimmy Rollins, SS            1. Jose Reyes, SS
2. Brandon Phillips, 2B         2. Miguel Tejada, 3B
3. Ryan Braun, LF               3. Robinson Cano, 2B
4. Joe Mauer, DH                4. Edwin Encarnacion, 1B
5. Giancarlo Stanton, RF         5. Hanley Ramirez, DH
6. Eric Hosmer, 1B              6. Nelson Cruz, RF
7. Adam Jones, CF               7. Carlos Santana, C
8. J.P. Arencibia, C           8. Ricardo Nanita, LF
9. Willie Bloomquist, 3B            9. Alejandro De Aza, CF

SP R.A. Dickey, RH            SP Samuel Deduno, RH

Dickey is back on the mound for Team USA after he gave up four runs over four innings in a 5-2 first-round loss to Mexico last Friday.

Deduno struck out five over four shutout innings against Spain on Saturday. The 29-year-old journeyman had a 4.44 ERA and 57/53 K/BB ratio over 15 starts with the Twins last season.

The winner of tonight’s game will secure a spot in the World Baseball Classic semifinals at San Francisco’s AT&T Park, where they’ll take on either Japan or the Netherlands. The loser of tonight’s game will play Puerto Rico at Marlins Park on Friday night in order to determine the second team to advance from Pool 2.

UPDATE: David Wright was scratched from tonight’s lineup, so Willie Bloomquist will start in his place at third base.

Royals sign Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal

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Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday. MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan adds that Saunders will make $1.5 million upon reaching the majors, with a potential $500,000 in bonuses.

After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.

With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.