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Colombia tops Canada in World Baseball Classic

Canada pitcher Eric Gagne throws a pitch in the eighth inning against Colombia during the 2017 World Baseball Classic at Marlins Park in Miami on Saturday, March 11, 2017.

Logan Bowles/USA Today Sports

Julio Teheran threw five solid innings to help Colombia beat Canada 4-1 in its second World Baseball Classic pool game Saturday afternoon.

Teheran settled down after surrendering Atlanta Braves teammate Freddie Freeman's RBI single in the first that gave Canada a 1-0 lead. Teheran allowed one run and two hits and retired the final 13 hitters he faced after Freeman's single.

Donovan Solano's second run-scoring single drove in Tito Polo in the fifth to give Colombia a 2-1 lead. Polo reached on a two-out single, stole second and scored on Solano's sinking line drive to centre off Canada reliever and losing pitcher Ryan Kellog.

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Yohan Pino relieved Teheran and pitched three scoreless innings and Dayan Diaz struck out the side around two singles in the ninth for the save.

Former Cy Young Award winner Eric Gagne inherited a two-out bases loaded situation for Canada in the sixth. The 41-year-old Gagne, who has not pitched in the Major Leagues since 2008, walked Jhonatan Solano for a 3-1 Colombia advantage then retired Polo on an inning-ending fly to right.

Gagne pitched two additional scoreless innings, allowed one hit and struck out two.

Colombia increased their lead in the ninth as Jhonatan Solano scored from second on a throwing error by Canada reliever Scott Mathieson.

Colombia tied it 1-1 in the third as Solano's single scored his brother Jhonatan Solano from second.

Canada starter Nick Pivetta, a fourth-round selection by the Washington Nationals in 2013 and now with the Philadelphia Phillies organization, scattered five hits and one run in four innings.

The roof at Marlins Park has been opened for the first three games of pool play but Saturday's noon start was the first in which players dealt with shadows and sun. For most of the game, sunlight covered centre and left field.

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During his career, Freeman has faced different defensive shifts to negate his pulling ability and Colombia successfully utilized one against him in the fourth. Colombia third baseman Giovanny Urshella shifted to short right-field and caught Freeman's line drive.

Colombia (1-1) closes pool play against the Dominican Republic Sunday afternoon. Canada (0-2) will play the United States in their final pool game Sunday night.

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