Speed Reads

take me out to the ballgame

U.S. advances to World Baseball Classic finals for first time ever

The United States team will play in the championship game of the World Baseball Classic for its first time ever, after vanquishing the Japanese team 2-1 in Tuesday night's semifinal game at Dodger Stadium. The Americans had previously only been as far as the semifinals in the World Baseball Classic, which they accomplished for the only time in 2009.

Two defensive mistakes by the Japanese allowed the Americans to score their two runs Tuesday: In the fourth inning, an error by Japan's second baseman Ryosuke Kikuchi paved the way for Christian Yelich of the Miami Marlins to reach home plate, while a bobble by Japan's third baseman Nobuhiro Matsuda in the eighth inning gave the San Francisco Giants' Brandon Crawford the chance to score. Kikuchi scored Japan's sole run in the sixth inning off a home run.

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman will take the mound for the Americans in Wednesday night's finals, facing off against the New York Mets' Seth Lugo for Puerto Rico. The game begins at 9 p.m. ET at Dodger Stadium, and will be broadcast on MLB Network in the U.S.