While the baseball world awaited Sunday's World Cup final between the United States and Cuba, Canada took the most significant of three consolation games played Saturday. With a 6-2 win over Puerto Rico, Canada captured its first bronze medal in the international competition. Jimmy Van Ostrand drove in three runs, two on a ninth-inning homer off Richard Rodriguez to break open a tight game.
In Saturday's other action, Australia downed the Netherlands, 4-1, for a fifth-place finish and its best-ever World Cup showing, and Venezuela claimed seventh place with a 6-3 triumph over Chinese Taipei. David Welch and Dushan Ruzic combined on an eight-hitter for Australia, which got a solo homer from Stephan Welch. Venezuela rallied from a 2-0 deficit on Dirimo Chavez's tying two-run single in the sixth and another two-run single by Rene Reyes in the eighth. In Sunday's final in Nettuno, Italy, to be broadcast at 9 a.m. ET by MLB Network, the U.S. will try to repeat its victory over Cuba in the 2007 final to claim consecutive World Cups for the first time since 1973-74. Team USA is undefeated in seven Cup games while Cuba, which has claimed 25 of the 29 World Cups it has entered, is 5-2. One of the losses was to the U.S., 5-3, on Thursday. This will be the 12th appearance for the No. 4-ranked United States in the gold medal game of the biennial tournament.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.