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U.S. stymies Canada 8-0 to advance to next round in World Baseball Classic


Team United States will be joining Team Dominican Republic in advancing to the next round after soundly defeating Team Canada on Sunday night by an 8-0 margin. Canada has been eliminated with a 0-3 record.

The U.S. struck early against Canada starter Ryan Dempster. The club loaded the bases with one out in the first inning, then scored two when Eric Hosmer doubled to center field. After Paul Goldschmidt walked to load the bases, Andrew Albers relieved Dempster and gave up an inherited run on a Buster Posey ground out to boost the U.S. lead to 3-0.

In the second inning, the U.S. had runners on first and second with one out against Albers, who promptly served up a three-run home run to Nolan Arenado. Hosmer doubled again, this time to left, and came around to score on a one out single by Posey.

The U.S. was held scoreless in the third through sixth innings, but Posey came through again with a solo home run to left-center in the seventh off of Jim Henderson.

U.S. starter Danny Duffy pitched four outstanding innings, holding Canada to two hits and on walks with seven strikeouts on 63 pitches. Mychal Givens pitched a scoreless fifth. Tyler Clippard took over in the sixth and tossed a pair of scoreless frames. Jake McGee took over in the eighth and kept Canada off the board. Nate Jones pitched a scoreless ninth to seal the 9-0 victory for Team U.S.

The U.S. will start the next round on Wednesday in Pool F, held at Petco Park in San Diego. Their opponent will either be Venezuela, Mexico, or Italy, depending on Sunday night’s game between Venezuela and Mexico. A loss by Venezuela would put three teams at 1-2 in Pool D and force a tiebreaker game.

Jeff Samardzija to undergo MRI on right shoulder

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Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.

This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.

Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.