World Baseball Classic 2013: USA vs. Puerto Rico TV Info, Preview and More

Alex Kay@AlexPKayCorrespondent IMarch 15, 2013

Mar 12, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; United States third baseman David Wright (5) and shortstop Jimmy Rollins (11) celebrate their victory over Puerto Rico at Marlins Park. United States defeated Puerto Rico 7-1. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

At the conclusion of this highly anticipated contest between the United States and Puerto Rico, the championship round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic will be set.

The winner will advance to join the Dominican Republic, Japan and the Netherlands in the “Final Four” of this tournament.

If this game is in any way similar to the initial matchup between these two nations, the Americans will easily advance.

Gio Gonzalez took the mound on Tuesday and pitched well against the Puerto Ricans for five scoreless innings, while the bullpen and bats did the rest. The U.S. went on to win, 7-1.

Will Ryan Vogelsong and the offense find the same success on Friday, or will the Americans falter in this critical ballgame?

Keep reading to find out where to watch the action, see our prediction on the final score and more in our USA vs. Puerto Rico preview.


When: Friday, March 15, at 7 p.m. ET

Where: Marlins Park; Miami, Fla.

Watch: MLB Network, ESPN Deportes

Starting Pitchers: Ryan Vogelsong (USA, RHP) vs. Nelson Figueroa (PR, RHP)

Starting Lineups


Puerto Rico




Angel Pagan 


Jimmy Rollins


Jesus Feliciano 


Brandon Phillips


Carlos Beltran 


Ryan Braun


Yadier Molina 


Joe Mauer


Mike Aviles 


Giancarlo Stanton


Alex Rios 


Ben Zobrist


Saul Rivera 


Eric Hosmer


Andy Gonzalez 


Adam Jones


Irving Falu 


Shane Victorino


Key Player for Team USA: Joe Mauer

The Minnesota Twins catcher has been nothing short of dominant during the 2013 WBC.

He’s hitting .444 with a 1.101 OPS, making Joe Torre’s decision to bat him fourth in the order look brilliant.

Against Puerto Rico on Tuesday, Mauer was able to draw three walks and assist David Wright in putting together an incredible five-RBI outing.

Behind the plate, the 29-year-old has done a great job adapting to the many different and unfamiliar pitchers he’s had to work with during his tenure with Team USA—with the notable exception of R.A. Dickey (J.P. Arencibia catches for the knuckleballer).

If the veteran can string together another excellent outing, it would go a long way toward helping the United States stave off elimination.


Key Player for Puerto Rico: Alex Rios

This Chicago White Sox right fielder has been the definition of clutch for Puerto Rico.

On Wednesday night, Rios scored the winning run after the nation rallied for a come-from-behind, 4-3 win against Italy that knocked their opponent out of the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

The nine-year veteran made the sage decision to keep running for home after Italian shortstop Jack Santora made an errant throw to first after fielding Andy Gonzalez’s infield hit. This mistake allowed Rios to score standing up.

Prior to that, Rios hit a single to put a runner in scoring position and set up a Luis Figueroa sacrifice fly to tie things up in the eighth.

Should Rios and the Puerto Rican offense continue this type of smart, crafty offense, they will present a major challenge to the Americans in a do-or-die matchup.


Prediction: USA 3 – Puerto Rico 2

Expect a contest that will be much closer than the first meeting between these countries.

Both are playing for national pride and a chance to advance to San Francisco to close out the 2013 WBC as champions, but they have to get it done on Friday to get there.

We’re giving the edge to Team USA, as it has the better lineup from top to bottom.

The American bats have been excellent, their pitching superb and momentum is on their side, which should be enough to notch a "W."