Scioscia ejected, US beats Dom Rep 8-6 in Olympic qualifier
U.S. manager Mike Scioscia was ejected after Philadelphia prospect Luke Williams hit a two-run triple in a four-run sixth inning, and the United States rallied to beat the Dominican Republic 8-6 Tuesday night in Olympic baseball qualifying to advance to the super round of the Americas tournament.
Scioscia came out of the dugout to ask for a video review when, with the U.S. ahead 8-5, a drive by Todd Frazier down the left-field line with two on was ruled foul. The foul call was upheld and Scioscia popped out of the dugout again as plate umpire Edwin Hernandez of Puerto Rico put up his hands, signaling for Scioscia to stop. The manager kept walking to the plate and was tossed.
The U.S. is 2-0 and leads Group A over the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua (both 1-1) going into the Americans' first-round finale on Wednesday against Puerto Rico (0-2).
The top two teams advance to the super round on Friday and Saturday along with Canada and Venezuela from Group B, and the first-round results carry over. The top team from the super round joins Japan, Israel, Mexico and South Korea at the Olympic baseball tournament, to be played in Japan from July 28 to Aug. 7 in Fukushima and Yokohama.
Second- and third-place teams advance to a final qualifier in June in Mexico, which will include Australia, Netherlands and Taiwan.
Cuba, the 1992, 1996 and 2004 gold medalist, was eliminated with a 6-5 loss to Canada in Group B at Port St. Lucie.
The U.S. trailed 5-4 before Logan Forsythe hit a tying single with the bases loaded in the sixth off Jhan Martinez, and Nick Allen followed with an RBI grounder for a 6-5 lead, just beating the throw to first to avoid an inning-ending double play. Williams followed with a triple into the gap in left-center.
Tampa Bay's Joe Ryan, the U.S. starter, allowed three runs and four hits in 4 2/3 innings with 10 strikeouts and one walk.
Anthony Carter pitched a hitless seventh and Cleveland's DJ Johnson a hitless eighth.
Juan Francisco, who last played in the major leagues for Toronto in 2014, hit solo homers in the second off Ryan and leading off the ninth against David Robertson, who got the save.
Boston prospect Triston Casas hit a two-run double in the first and Cincinnati prospect Mark Kolozsvary chased Dominican starter Radhames Liz with two outs in the fourth with a two-run homer halfway up the berm behind the left-field fence that made it 4-1.
Emilio Bonifacio hit a two-run triple off the center-field wall with two outs in the fifth, and Edwin Jackson relieved and retired Melky Cabrera on an inning-ending comebacker.
Julio Rodriguez singled off Jackson leading off the sixth and Jose Bautista struck out for the third time. Left-hander Trevor Lane, a Yankees prospect, relieved and got left-handed-hitting Juan Francisco to fly out. Scioscia kept Lane in to face the right-handed Goris, who while a San Diego prospect was suspended for 50 games in 2018 following a second positive test for a drug of abuse. Goris hit a two-run homer for a 5-4 lead.
In the other Group A game, Nicaragua defeated Puerto Rico 7-6 in 10 innings. Ofilio Castro broke a 5-all tie in the 10th when he scored on Freddie Muniz's wild pitch, and Juan Diego Montes' sacrifice fly built a two-run lead. Ruben Castro hit an RBI groundout in the bottom half before Osvaldo Martinez's game-ending flyout against Sheyder Garcia.
In Group B, Canada (2-0) defeated Cuba (0-2) as Chicago Cubs prospect Ryan Kellogg started and allowed five hits in 3 2/3 scoreless innings and Michael Crouse of the American Association's Chicago Dogs homered.
Canada led 6-3 entering the ninth. Scott Mathieson, whose last major league appearance was with Philadelphia in 2011, allowed a sacrifice fly to 41-year-old Frederich Cepeda, a 2004 gold medalist.
John Axford, three years removed from the big leagues, got Yordanis Samon to hit a two-out comebacker but threw wildly past first for a run-scoring error. Axford then struck out cleanup hitter Lisban Correa with a man on for the save.
Venezuela (2-0) won 3-2 over Colombia (0-2) on a solo ninth-inning homer by San Francisco prospect Diego Ricones off Chicago Cubs prospect Carlos Ocampo after Oakland prospect Jordan Diaz tied the score with a solo homer off Gabriel Moya in the top half.