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Facing Dominican team has big league feel

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Kingdom of the Netherlands infielder Curt Smith hasn't reached the big leagues yet as a farmhand in the Twins organization, but he doesn't need Major League experience to appreciate the atmosphere that surrounds him at the World Baseball Classic.

As far as he's concerned, his club's matchup against the Dominican Republic on Monday night carries a certain Major League prestige.

"It's like playing a big league game," he said. "The Dominican team is straight-up big league players, so it is. But I'm not going to let that get to me. I'm just going to play my own game, and with the help of my teammates, hopefully come out with a victory."

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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