Manager Benji Gil and Jonathan Aranda of Team Mexico acknowledge the crowd after Mexico beat Team Canada 10-3 during the World Baseball Classic Pool C game at Chase Field on March 15, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
By Conor Liguori
World Baseball Network
Mexico booked their ticket to Miami and a quarterfinal berth at the World Baseball Classic with a convincing win over Canada Wednesday afternoon.
Randy Arozarena had two hits, two runs scored and five RBI as Mexico trounced Canada 10-3 at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona.
Throughout the first round of play in Pool C, they have proven that their offense is a force to be reckoned with, led by outfielder Arozarena. Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Rowdy Tellez opened up the scoring in the top of the first inning for Mexico with a two-run line drive single. Toronto Blue Jays’ top prospect Otto Lopez drove home the first run of the game for Canada in the bottom of the first with an RBI single to center field, cutting the Mexico lead to 2-1.
Randy Arozarena, who put up one of the best postseason hitting performances during the 2020 playoffs with the Tampa Bay Rays, has shown once again he is not shy of the big moment. Arozarena drove home a game-high five runs, including an RBI double in the top of the second to put Mexico ahead 3-1.
Canada was without their star first baseman Freddie Freeman, who did not play in the game due to a mild hamstring injury. Canada’s two other runs both came off solo-home runs from Bo Naylor in the fourth inning and Edouard Julien in the seventh inning.
Mexico broke the game open in the sixth inning, scoring four runs, and padded on to that lead with two runs in the seventh, and one in the eighth.
In the sixth, Arozarena struck again with a bases loaded clearing double, his fifth double of the WBC and gave Mexico a 6-2 lead. Joey Meneses drove home Arozarena on a single to center field to make it 7-2 Mexico.
Arozarena was credited with another RBI in the top of the seventh when he was hit on the elbow with the bases loaded. He would remain in the game. Alex Verdugo extended the Mexico lead to 9-2 with a sacrifice fly.
First baseman Rowdy Tellez put the finishing touches on the game with a solo-home run right over the right field wall to give Mexico a 10-3 lead. Tellez proudly donned a gold and purple sombrero after touching home plate.
Jose Urquidy, the starting pitcher for Mexico, was rewarded with the win. Urquidy gave up two earned runs on six hits, in four innings. He struck out five. Rob Zastryzny of Canada was given the loss. He lasted only two innings, and gave up three earned runs on three hits. Zastryzny struck out two.
Canada finishes play in Pool C with a record of 2-2,and will not be moving on to the quarterfinals. Mexico is the first team from Pool C to advance. Mexico will be joined by either team USA, or Colombia. USA are the heavy favorites to defeat Colombia and move on to Miami. Mexico will take the next few days to fly from Arizona to Florida, and prepare for the single-elimination quarterfinals.