Mexico celebrates comeback victory over Puerto Rico and reaches semifinals of World Baseball Classic

Mexico made a methodical comeback against Puerto Rico in Friday night’s quarterfinals of the World Baseball Classic, earning a semifinals spot with a narrow 5-4 win.

Puerto Rico took an early lead when Emmanuel Rivera defeated Enrique Hernandez with a sack fly. Javier Báez extended that lead to 3-0 when he fended off a 2-1 fastball from Mexico’s starting pitcher Julio Urías:

The next player, Eddie Rosario, scored for the second time of the tournament to make Puerto Rico 4-0:

Shortly thereafter, however, the comeback began. In the second round, Isaac Paredes brought Mexico into play with a home run of their own. From that point on, Puerto Rico starter Marcus Stroman — the 2017 WBC MVP when he fielded for the United States — cruised through to fifth. In that frame, Mexico charged the bases with an out and brought home their second run with a well-placed bloop single. That’s when manager Yadier Molina called out assist Yacksel Ríos, who prevented further damage with a pop-up and a rowdy Tellez ground-out into the shift still legal in WBC play.

The next critical point came in the seventh when Mexico filled bases with no outs at the expense of Alexis Díaz, brother of the injured New York Mets and Puerto Rico’s closer Edwin Díaz. Jorge López, replacing Díaz, managed to book the first two outs of the inning, but then back-to-back singles gave Mexico their first lead of the game:

That hard-earned lead was jeopardized in eighth when Rivera pushed one from Jake Sanchez into the left-center gap. Unfortunately for Rivera and Puerto Rico, Randy Arozarena was on patrol:

This will undoubtedly be one of the most memorable highlights of WBC 2023, and it coincides with Arozarena’s outstanding record production throughout the tournament.

In the ninth, Giovanny Gallegos tossed around two singles for his second save of the WBC. A total of four Mexican reliefs went five innings scoreless in the win over Puerto Rico.

Here is the WBC now:


Quarterfinals 1st


March, 15

Cuba 4, Australia 3

Quarterfinals 2nd


March 16th

Japan 9, Italy 3

Quarterfinals 3


17. March

Mexico 5, Puerto Rico 4

Quarterfinals 4th


March 18th

United States vs Venezuela


semi-final 1


19th March

Winner Cuba vs Quarterfinals 4th

semi final 2


March, 20th

Japan vs Mexico

championship game


March 21st

Winner semi-final 1 vs. Winner semi-final 2

The semi-final round now features two teams, Mexico and Cuba, who have never won the WBC before.

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