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USA blasts Cuba in World Baseball Classic, Mookie Betts keeps hitting the ball hard

World Baseball Classic Semifinals: Cuba v United States Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

Team USA poured on the offense, scoring in each of the first six innings to rout Cuba 14-2 on Sunday night at loanDepot Park in Miami, advancing to its second consecutive World Baseball Classic championship game.

Trea Turner, whose grand slam against Venezuela was the game-winner on Saturday, homered again on Sunday, twice, part of his three-hit game, and drove in four. Paul Goldschmidt homered and also drove in four runs.

Mookie Betts doubled in the first inning and scored on Goldschmidt’s homer, then singled in the third and sixth. Betts batted six times on Sunday, and hit four balls with at least a 98-mph exit velocity, continuing a trend for the rightfielder.

He’s averaging a 93.8-mph exit velocity through six games in the World Baseball Classic, and over the last three games he’s been hitting the hell out of the ball. Against Colombia, Venezuela, and Cuba, Betts put 15 balls in play. Twelve were considered hard-hit balls (defined as at least 95 mph, per Baseball Savant), and seven had exit velocities of at least 100 mph.

Betts in those three games has a double and five singles. scoring four times.

Mookie Betts in the World Baseball Classic

Date Opp Inning Exit velocity (mph) Result
Date Opp Inning Exit velocity (mph) Result
Mar 11 Great Britain 1 94.7 Fly out
Mar 11 Great Britain 2 77.1 Single
Mar 11 Great Britain 4 80.2 Groundout
Mar 11 Great Britain 5 92.0 Pop out
Mar 11 Great Britain 7 85.1 Fly out
Mar 12 Mexico 1 99.8 Fly out
Mar 12 Mexico 3 91.5 Fly out
Mar 12 Mexico 5 94.7 Fly out
Mar 12 Mexico 8 91.9 Groundout
Mar 12 Mexico 9 90.5 Fly out
Mar 13 Canada 1 102.6 Single
Mar 13 Canada 3 89.4 Groundout
Mar 15 Colombia 1 103.1 Lineout
Mar 15 Colombia 3 101.0 Single
Mar 15 Colombia 5 105.4 Single
Mar 15 Colombia 7 95.4 Fly out
Mar 18 Venezuela 1 105.4 Single
Mar 18 Venezuela 2 97.1 GIDP
Mar 18 Venezuela 4 95.6 Sac fly
Mar 18 Venezuela 7 62.9 Pop out
Mar 18 Venezuela 8 97.8 Fly out
Mar 19 Cuba 1 98.2 Double
Mar 19 Cuba 2 100.7 Single
Mar 19 Cuba 4 104.5 Groundout
Mar 19 Cuba 5 76.1 Lineout
Mar 19 Cuba 6 105.8 Single
Mar 19 Cuba 8 93.6 Fly out
Through March 19, 2023 (six games) Source: Baseball Savant

Betts even got to play second base in this game, moving from right field for the final two innings. It’s his first time in the tournament playing somewhere other than right field.

Will Smith, making his third start for Team USA on Sunday, doubled, walked, scored a run, and drove in another.

The U.S. will play next on Tuesday, awaiting the winner of Monday’s tilt between Mexico and Japan. Both games start at 4 p.m. PT and are televised by FS1.