Luis Urías hit the go-ahead single in a three-run seventh inning that fueled Mexico’s 5-4 comeback win over Puerto Rico to advance to their first World Baseball Classic semifinals.
Mexico will face Shohei Ohtani and Japan in the semifinals on Monday. Puerto Rico failed to get past the second round for the first time.
Isaac Paredes, who homered earlier, tied it at 4 with a single off losing pitcher Alexis Diaz that drove in Austin Barnes and Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena.
Puerto Rico tried to rally in the ninth with singles by Christian Vázquez and Francisco Lindor, but reliever Giovanny Gallegos bailed out to make the save.
Arozarena saved the potential tying run in the eighth when he made a jumping catch on the wall in left-center.
Puerto Rico was coming off an emotional quarterfinal victory over the Dominican Republic on Wednesday, when New York Mets star closer Edwin Díaz tore the patellar tendon in his right knee while celebrating the victory. The sellout crowd of 35,817 at LoanDepot Park in Miami cheered as Diaz’s jersey appeared on the Jumbotron.
Javier Báez and Eddie Rosario homered off Mexican starter Julio Urías in a four-run first inning.
Rosario hit his second home run of the tournament. Baez, in one of his best games of the event, had three hits, giving him seven total.
Urías allowed five hits and four runs and struck out four before being lifted after the fourth inning on 60 pitches, 20 shy of the WBC quarterfinal pitch limit of 80.
JoJo Romero got the win.
Paredes made it 4-1 in the second when he homered off Marcus Stroman, which was one of Mexico’s five hits against the Puerto Rican starter.
Stroman allowed three singles in the fifth, one of which drove in a run to make it 4-2 Mexico. He struck out two in 4 1-3 innings.
Puerto Rico finished second in the last two WBCs. Earlier in this tournament, their pitchers turned in an all-time performance against Israel in pool play with an eight-inning perfect game.
Mexico won pool C with a 3-1 record in pool play.