Adam Jones doubled in the tying and go-ahead runs in the eighth inning and Eric Hosmer hit a three-run double in the ninth as the United States beat Canada, 9-4, on Sunday in Phoenix to advance to the second round of the World Baseball Classic.
The United States trailed, 3-2, after seven innings before breaking loose. Team USA and Italy advanced in Group D while Canada and Mexico were eliminated.
Jones and Hosmer both had a rough week at the plate but came through with the United States on the brink of what would have been a humbling loss. Jones’s hit was his second in nine at-bats. Hosmer was 3 for 13.
‘‘Words can’t describe it,’’ Hosmer said, recalling how he felt standing on second after his big hit.
‘‘It is hard to hold your emotions right there. It is just an unbelievable feeling and when you hear the crowd chant ‘USA’ and the other crowd chanting ‘Canada.’ It is an unbelievable experience.’’
Canada’s Michael Saunders, of the Mariners, hit a two-run homer off starter Derek Holland and was chosen the Group D MVP, going 8 for 11 in the tournament.
The United States finished group play tied with Italy at 2-1, but gets the No. 1 seed because of its 6-2 win over Italy. The United States next meets Puerto Rico on Tuesday in Miami. Italy will meet the Dominican Republic.
Joe Mauer opened the eighth with a single, then David Wright walked. Manager Joe Torre made an aggressive move when, with Willie Bloomquist running for Mauer, he sent both runners moving on Jimmy Henderson’s 1-and-2 pitch. Jones connected, bringing both runners home. The Red Sox’ Shane Victorino singled Jones home to make it 5-3.
Canada, Mexico unpunished
The WBC decided no players will be suspended in the aftermath of Saturday’s brawl between Canada and Mexico. Video of the fighting spread across the globe, giving the WBC a major dose of unwanted attention. The organizers said Sunday that while the mayhem ‘‘runs counter to the spirit of sportsmanship and respectful competition,’’ suspensions would not be appropriate because neither team advanced to the second round.
The brawl began in the ninth when Canada’s Rene Tosoni was hit by a pitch from Mexico’s Arnold Leon after Chris Robinson reached on a bunt single. Seven players were ejected, four from Mexico (including Red Sox pitcher Alfredo Aceves) and three from Canada.
Japan busts fences in win
Two-time defending champion Japan hit a record-tying six home runs, scoring in all seven innings to rout the Netherlands, 16-4, in Tokyo and reach the WBC semifinals. The Netherlands is not done. It will face Cuba on Monday to determine the final spot from the Tokyo round. In San Juan, Robinson Cano homered and the Dominican Republic edged Puerto Rico, 4-2, to win Group C. Mike Aviles homered for Puerto Rico. Miguel Cabrera and Pablo Sandoval hit consecutive home runs in an 11-6 victory over Spain. Neither team advanced.
Phelps impresses again
David Phelps is doing all he can to earn a role in the Yankees’ starting rotation. Phelps allowed three hits over five innings in a 3-0 win over the Blue Jays. Phelps has given up one run in 14 innings over four starts. He is competing with Ivan Nova to be a starter and could win a rotation role if Phil Hughes doesn’t recover from a back injury by the first week of the season . . . Rick Porcello continued his strong spring for the Tigers, pitching five shutout innings in a 2-1 win over the Nationals. Porcello has only allowed three runs in 12 innings in four starts and has fanned 14 without a walk . . . Lefthander Brett Anderson, scheduled to start on Opening Day for the Athletics, strained a muscle in his upper right back and left his outing against Arizona after facing just two batters . . . Cardinals manager Mike Matheny planned to return to St. Louis for surgery to repair a ruptured disk in his back. Matheny expects to be back at spring training Thursday.