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Dominican Republic dominates USA with 7-5 finish in World Baseball Classic

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Team Dominican Republic secured their second win of the 2017 World Baseball Classic on Saturday, mounting a rally in the eighth inning to take the edge over Team USA, 7-5.

The USA jumped out to an early lead, capitalizing on a couple of fielding errors to score their first run in the third inning. Christian Yelich and Brandon Crawford contributed two RBI singles, padding the USA’s lead to 3-0 by the fifth inning.

In the sixth inning, Giancarlo Stanton muscled an RBI double off of right-hander Jumbo Diaz, then came home to score the USA’s sixth run when Crawford lashed an RBI double of his own off of left-hander Fernando Abad. The Dominican Republic finally responded in the bottom of the sixth inning, taking Tanner Roark deep with a Manny Machado home run and tacking on an extra run with Carlos Santana‘s RBI single.

From there, Team Dominican Republic held the USA hitless. Welington Castillo added an RBI double in the seventh inning, but it was the combined effort of Nelson Cruz and Starling Marte that carried the team to victory in the eighth inning. Cruz and Marte raked in four runs with back-to-back jacks against the indomitable Andrew Miller, cementing the Dominican Republic’s tenth consecutive victory in the World Baseball Classic.

With the loss, Team USA faces several interesting tie-breaker scenarios. Via Andrew Simon of MLB.com:

If Colombia upsets the Dominican Republic and the U.S. defeats Canada, the first three would be 2-1, with Canada eliminated. The tiebreaker rules would determine which team would head to San Diego for the second round — beginning next Tuesday — and which two would battle it out in a tiebreaker game on Monday at 6 p.m. ET in Miami.

However, if the D.R. wins and the U.S. loses, the Dominicans would advance at 3-0. In that case, the tiebreaker rules would determine which 1-2 teams would get to play the tiebreaker game to advance, while the third would be eliminated.

Team Colombia and Team Dominican Republic are currently knotted 3-3 in extra innings. Team USA is scheduled to face off against Team Canada on Sunday evening at 7 PM EDT.

Report: Brewers have made formal contract offer to Yu Darvish

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Yahoo Japan reported on Sunday (Monday there) that the Brewers have made a formal contract offer to free agent pitcher Yu Darvish. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has confirmed Yahoo Japan’s report. The length of the offered contract and the value are not known at the moment.

Darvish recently said on his personal Twitter account that the Rangers, Yankees, Cubs, Astros, Twins, and “one more team” have been in the running for his services. The unnamed team was believed to be the Dodgers, but it may well be the Brewers.

The Brewers could certainly use Darvish’s arm. Chase Anderson and Zach Davies currently lead the starting rotation and the club added Jhoulys Chacin and Yovani Gallardo this offseason.

Darvish, 31, posted a 3.86 ERA with a 209/58 K/BB ratio in 186 2/3 innings between the Rangers and Dodgers in the regular season last year. He faltered in the playoffs, specifically in the World Series, where he gave up nine runs in 3 1/3 innings across two starts. Darvish was apparently tipping his pitches, however, which is a correctable issue.