In order for the United States to advance to the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic, they’ll have to beat Venezuela, something no other team has been able to do so far in this tournament. The two teams meet in the final quarterfinal matchup on Saturday night at loanDepot Park in Miami.
White Sox pitcher Lance Lynn starts for the United States, with Rangers left-hander Martin Pérez starting for Venezuela.
Mookie Betts started all four games in right field during pool play. He had four singles and a hit by pitch, with two of those hits coming in Wednesday’s win over Colombia, which clinched Team USA’s spot in the quarterfinals as runner-up in Pool C.
Venezuela won all four games in a stacked Pool D in Miami, outscoring their opponents 23-9. Dodgers outfielder David Peralta started three of the four games in left field, and had four hits in 10 at-bats, including two doubles to go with three walks, driving in four runs.
Will Smith and J.T. Realmuto split catching duties for Team USA during pool play, alternating starts behind the plate. If that continues, Saturday would be Realmuto’s turn.
The winner of this quarterfinal matchup will advance to the semifinals, to play Cuba on Sunday night.
The other quarterfinal is Monday, with Mexico facing Japan. Austin Barnes had two hits, including a double to start the winning rally for Mexico in the seventh inning to beat Puerto Rico on Friday night.
Fox will televise USA-Venezuela, with Kenny Albert, John Smoltz, and Ken Rosenthal on the call.
- World Baseball Classic quarterfinals
- Teams: United States vs. Venezuela
- Location: loanDepot Park, Miami
- Time: 4 p.m. PT
- TV: Fox