(MIAMI) — Nelson Figueroa got the best of the USA on Friday night. The 38-year-old led his team to the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic on Friday with big six inning performance in Puerto Rico’s 4-3 win over the USA.
Figueroa gave up two hits with just one walk and struck out two before he handed a 4-0 lead over to the bullpen.
“We were supreme underdogs against that lineup,” Figueroa said. “It was motivation to show them what kind of pitcher I was.”
Puerto Rico knocked in three runs in the top of the sixth and handed USA starter Ryan Vogelsong the loss. The Americans have now failed to reach the final in three tries.
“When you play double-elimination, it’s a crapshoot,” USA manager Joe Torre said. “And Figueroa pitched his tail off tonight.”
Puerto Rico will take on the Dominican Republic on Sunday in San Francisco. Joining the party will be the Netherlands and two-time defending champions Japan.
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Madison Park, Keith Allen and Andreas Preuss, CNN