The United States will face Puerto Rico Wednesday evening at Dodger Stadium in the championship game of the fourth edition of the World Baseball Classic.
Marcus Stroman will be the U.S. starting pitcher, facing fellow right- hander Seth Lugo in a rematch of the Round 2 game Friday in San Diego, won by Puerto Rico, 6-5.
Stroman allowed four runs in the first inning on singles to each of the first six batters and was charged with the loss.
Lugo was the winning pitcher, allowing three runs, all earned, and five hits in 5 2/3 innings. He is 2-0 in the tournament with a 2.45 ERA.
Puerto Rico’s roster includes Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Kike Hernandez and pitcher Jose DeLeon, who the Dodgers traded in January to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Twenty-one of Puerto Rico’s players played in Major League Baseball in 2016. Five others played on the triple-A level and one each with a U.S. independent team and Japan.
Six of its players were born in the continental U.S., including Lugo, who was born in Shreveport, Louisiana.
The U.S. is 5-2, Puerto Rico 7-0. Puerto Rico advanced to its second consecutive final with a 4-3, 11-inning victory over the Netherlands, in a semifinal Monday night at Dodger Stadium.
The U.S. advanced to its first final with a 2-1 semifinal victory over Japan on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium, scoring the tie-breaking run in the eighth inning.
Brandon Crawford singled with one out, moved to third on Ian Kinsler’s double and scored on Adam Jones’ ground out.
The U.S. opened the scoring in the fourth when Andrew McCutchen singled in Christian Yelich, who reached first on an error by Japanese second baseman Ryeosuke Kikuchi.
Japan tied the score in the sixth on Kikuchi’s home run.
Seven U.S. pitchers combined to limit previously undefeated Japan to four hits. Sam Dyson pitched a perfect seventh for the victory. Luke Gregerson pitched a perfect ninth for the save, striking out Nobuhiro Matsuda to end the game.
A Fan Festival featuring an international array of food offerings and performances will begin at 4 p.m. for the 6 p.m. game. Food trucks will include cuisine from Belly BombZ, Pho King Awesome, Mapuche Native Foods, Richeeze, Sabores de Mexico, Street Kitchen LA, Ta Bom! and Vchos Food Truck.
Entertainment acts include Break Fluid Crew, Cunya, El Conjunto Nueva Ola, Immortals Lion Dance Troupe, LA Taiko Ichiza, Mariachi Espectacular, Orgone, Street Dum Corps, Sweet Beats, UCLA ACA Lion Dancers, USC Kazan Taiko and Victoria Van Damn and live music from DJ Cleopold, DJ Fredy Fresco, DJ Malski, DJ Ry, DJ Slow Poke, and DJ Yuko.