Casas’ 3rd homer, Kazmir help US beat Dominicans 3-1

YOKOHAMA, Japan — For Triston Casas, the Olympics really feel as comfy as spring coaching.

That’s as a result of when he stepped to the plate within the United States’ elimination sport towards the Dominican Republic on Wednesday, he was dealing with Boston Red Sox Double-A teammate Denyi Reyes.

“I have one career at-bat off of him in spring training, and I hit a home run over the batter’s eye, as well,” Casas stated after he crushed a two-run, first-inning drive that began the Americans to a 3-1 win. “So 2 for 2 with a walk.”

Tyler Austin, a former main leaguer in his house ballpark of the Central League’s Yokohama Bay Stars, added a solo house run within the fifth towards Gabriel Arias, his second lengthy ball of the event to go together with a .412 common and 5 RBIs.

The U.S. (3-1) performs subsequent on Thursday evening, assembly the loser of Wednesday evening’s Japan-South Korea matchup for a berth on this weekend’s gold medal sport.

Scott Kazmir (1-0) escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam within the first. The 37-year-old left-hander pitched two-hit ball over 5 scoreless innings, retiring 14 of his last 15 batters round José Bautista’s leadoff double within the third.

“I felt like I still had a lot in me,” Kazmir stated.

A 21-year-old first baseman at Portland, Maine, Casas homered following a one-out stroll to Austin. Casas, batting .313 with eight RBIs, was the twenty sixth total decide within the 2018 novice draft and is hitting .271 with six homers and 30 RBIs for the Sea Dogs this season.

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“I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s better, but the atmosphere makes it better,” he stated of the Olympics. “I really feel prefer it places stress on each side of the ball, on protection and on offense, actually keep engaged in each pitch, actually simply making an attempt to give attention to profitable. In affiliated ball, typically you may get out of that mindset.

“At the end of the tournament,” he added, “nobody’s going to remember really how many home runs I hit or how many runs I drive in. It’s just whether we came home with that gold.”

Reyes (0-1), a 24-year-old right-hander, allowed two runs and two hits in 4 innings. He is 3-1 with a 2.90 ERA in two begins and 11 reduction appearances at Portland.

“We did talk about it and basically said may the best man win,” Reyes recalled of his dialog with Casas.

Before he made two begins and a reduction look for San Francisco in late May and June, Kazmir had not pitched within the main leagues since 2016. He hopes agent Brian Peters can get him signed for later this season or 2022.

Scott Kazmir threw five shutout innings.
Scott Kazmir threw 5 shutout innings.
AFP through Getty Images

“I have two little boys,” Kazmir stated. “I want them to see me play and not just see a video or anything like that. I feel like that’s a huge motivation for me.”

Kazmir was obtainable for the Olympics as a result of he was assigned outright to Triple-A Sacramento on June 11.

“He fell under a rock. I think he got designated for assignment at the right time when we were about ready to make some decisions in putting our club together,” U.S. supervisor Mike Scioscia stated. “There’s no doubt he can pitch in the major leagues and be very effective, and I’m sure that’s going to happen at some point.”

Kazmir began on 16 days’ relaxation on a broiling day with a 90-degree Fahrenheit (32.2 Celsius) temperature at sport time and excessive humidity. With a fastball within the 91 mph vary and a cutter he’s developed, he threw 77 pitches, struck out 5 and walked one.

Playing 14 hours after their ninth-inning comeback win over Israel, the Dominicans (2-3) loaded the bases with one out within the first. Johan Mieses grounded right into a forceout on the plate, mentioning Melky Cabrera, who was 3 for 10 towards Kazmir in his large league profession. Cabrera bounced to Todd Frazier, who stepped on third for the inning-ending forceout.

“Mostly his swing stays the same,” Kazmir stated.

Brandon Dickson, Scott McGough and Anthony Gose adopted with an inning every.

David Robertson allowed Charlie Valerio’s two-out homer and a stroll, then struck out Yefri Pérez with a person on for his second save. The U.S. was outhit 5-3 and overcame three errors and a 0-for-12 afternoon from its Nos. 6-9 batters.

Bautista got here up with two on and two outs within the seventh towards McGough, a 31-year-old former Miami reliever who blew a save towards Japan two nights earlier. The six-time All-Star, now 40, took consecutive sliders and was referred to as out by plate umpire Jair Fernández of Mexico.

“He made some good quality pitches down in the zone,” Bautista stated, “and he got the calls that he needed.”

Notes: Minnesota prospect Joe Ryan will begin for the U.S. on Thursday. … Dominican 2B Gustavo Núñez injured his left indirect on a swing within the seventh and was pinch hit for by Pérez.

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