On Wednesday, Braves prospect Todd Redmond threw 8 1/3 shutout innings to lead the United States to a 3-0 win over Puerto Rico at the Baseball World Cup, held at the Stadio Cerreti in Florence, Italy, to earn a berth in the tournament's championship. On Thursday, Team USA will square off against Cuba in what could be a preview of another championship game between the two countries.
Cuba and Team USA both sport an 11-1 record overall in World Cup action and are 2-0 in third-round play thus far. Pride is also on the line for the Cubans, who are 4-1 against the tournament's final eight teams. In 2007, Team USA defeated Cuba to earn the tournament title.
To get to this point, Cuba defeated Australia, 2-1, and Chinese Taipei, 8-0, while the USA defeated Venezuela, 6-3, and Puerto Rico behind Redmond's pitching and a 3-for-3 performance by Blue Jays prospect Buck Coats. Rays prospect Jason Childers picked up the save for Team USA against Puerto Rico.
Also Wednesday, Canada beat Venezuela, 9-2, and Australia topped The Netherlands, 5-2.
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.