The winner advances to the semifinals in Los Angeles.

The United States can clinch a spot in the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic for the first time in eight years with a win over the Dominican Republic on Saturday night at Petco Park in San Diego.

The winner of Saturday’s showdown will be the fourth and final team in the WBC semifinals, joining Puerto Rico, who clinched a spot with a 6-5 win over Team USA on Friday night.

Saturday night’s showdown will be televised by MLB Network, with Matt Vasgersian, John Smoltz, and Jon Morosi on the call. The game will be streamed online through MLB Network, accessible with television provider authentication.

A win on Saturday would give Team USA a 2-1 record in the second round, earning a spot in the semifinals for the first time since the 2009 WBC. The semis begin on Monday night at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

But first, the United States must beat the Dominican Republic, the defending WBC champions. These two teams faced off in the first round, with Team USA blowing a 5-0 lead in a 7-5 loss on March 11. The big blow in that game was a three-run home run by Nelson Cruz off Andrew Miller, giving the Dominican Republic its first lead of the game.

Kansas City Royals pitcher Danny Duffy starts for Team USA on Saturday night, looking to build off his seven-strikeout performance in four scoreless innings in the first round against Canada on March 12.

“I just tried to fill in wherever I can and do my job. I’ve been feeding off [Chris] Archer, [Marcus] Stroman, and obviously [Drew] Smyly had a heck of a game the other day,” Duffy told reporters on Friday. “When I got invited here I just, you know, figured it was a huge honor, and if you’re here, it means you’re good enough to be here, and that’s enough for me.”

Ervin Santana starts for the Dominican Republic.

ESPN Deportes will televise Saturday’s game in Spanish, which will also be streamed online at WatchESPN.

USA vs. Dominican Republic info

When: 10 p.m. ET

Where: Petco Park, San Diego

What: World Baseball Classic second round, Pool F

TV: MLB Network, ESPN Deportes (Spanish)

Online: MLB Network, MLB.tv (subscription), WatchESPN (Spanish)





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Source : SBnation