Adam Stern hit an inside-the-park homer, drove in four runs and made two sensational catches in center on Wednesday, leading Canada to a surprising 8-6 victory over the US in the first round of the inaugural World Baseball Classic.
Adam Loewen, a 21-year-old left-hander, gave up three hits and walked three but didn't allow a run in 3 2-3 innings and got the victory for Canada (2-0).
Jason Varitek's 139m grand slam helped bring the US back from an 8-0 deficit, but a Canadian team made up largely of minor leaguers held on.
Chase Utley thought he had given the US the lead in the eighth, flipping his bat and raising both arms in triumph after he hit a long drive to center with two on. But Stern made leaping catch at the wall near the 126m sign to end the inning.
The US (1-1) must beat South Africa today, when 43-year-old Roger Clemens starts for the Americans, or have Mexico lose one of its remaining games to stay alive in the 16-nation tournament.
Cuba 8, Panama 6
At San Juan, Puerto Rico, Panama scored twice in the ninth to force extra innings, but pinch-hitter Yoandy Garlobo had a tiebreaking single in the 11th that led the Cuba to victory in its World Baseball Classic opener.
Yuliesky Gourriel drove in four runs for the Olympic champions with a two-run homer, a double and a sacrifice fly.
Ruben Rivera hit a three-run homer for Panama (0-2), which trailed 6-4 in the ninth against winner Yunieski Maya before Olmedo Saenz blooped an RBI single and Sherman Obando was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Michel Enriquez started Cuba's go-ahead rally with two outs in the 11th against Jorge Cortes when he was hit by a pitch for the third time in the game. Gourriel walked, Garlobo singled to center and Frederich Cepeda followed with another RBI single.
Venezuela 6, Italy 0
At Kissimmee, Florida, Miguel Cabrera homered for the second straight game and drove in two runs and Venezuela rebounded from a loss in its opener.
Freddy Garcia struck out seven and allowed one hit in 3 1-3 innings for Venezuela, which improved to 1-1 in Pool D play and dropped Italy to 1-1. The Dominican Republic (1-0) was idle on Wednesday and remained the only unbeaten team in Pool D.
Puerto Rico 8, Netherlands 3
At San Juan, Puerto Rico, Javy Lopez, Ivan Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran each hit solo home runs in Puerto Rico's 8-3 win.
Puerto Rico improved to 2-0 in Group C and will face rival Cuba today.
Jose Valentin put Puerto Rico ahead for good in the sixth with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Rodriguez and Beltran hit back-to-back homers in the seventh to make it 7-3.
Jair Jurrjens allowed three earned runs in one inning and Braves outfielder Andruw Jones was 0-for-3 with a walk for the Netherlands (0-1).
Mexico 10, South Africa 4
At Scottsdale, Arizona, Jorge Cantu and Vinny Castilla each had three hits and Cantu drove in three runs to lead Mexico over South Africa.
Mexico, shut out on four hits by the US on Tuesday, opened up a 5-0 lead after three innings against South Africa starter Darryn Smith.