Undefeated Puerto Rico will meet the Netherlands in semi-finals

SAN DIEGO – The United States knocked off defending World Baseball Classic champs Dominican Republic, 6-3, before a sold-out Petco Park crowd of 43,002.

Giancarlo Stanton blasted a 2-run home run in the 4th inning that put the U.S. ahead, 4-2, and center fielder Adam Jones robbed Dominican Republic superstar Manny Machado of a home run in the 7th to help preserve the lead.

The U.S. bullpen pitched flawless 8th and 9th innings, as Luke Gregerson earned the save.

The U.S. victory sets up a blockbuster semi-final battle between the top 2 nations in the WBSC Baseball World Rankings: No. 1 Japan vs. No. 2 United States.

Puerto Rico perfect

Puerto Rico defeated Venezuela, 13-2, to finish undefeated in the second round, while Venezuela failed a get a win in San Diego.

Mike Aviles went 4-for-5 with 3 RBI in the one-sided win for Puerto Rico.

No. 12 Puerto Rico, runners-up in 2013, will face No. 9 Netherlands in the semi-finals at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.