MESA, Arizona – Team Canada took the field for the first time prior to the 2023 World Baseball Classic with an exhibition contest against the Chicago Cubs and dropped an 11-7 decision at Sloan Park.
BOX SCORE: Canada 7, Cubs 11
Homers from Jacob Robson (Windsor, ON) and Damiano Palmegiani (Surrey, BC), and a two RBI game from Jared Young (Prince George, BC) weren’t enough as the Cubs used 11 hits including homers from Tucker Barnhart and Cody Bellinger en route to victory.
Canada jumped out to an early lead in the top of the first thanks to a two-run double off the bat of Jared Young (Prince George, BC) that scored Freddie Freeman (Villa Park, CA) and Tyler O’Neill (Maple Ridge, BC) before the Cubs answered back with a pair of runs in the home half of the second inning.
Robson’s homer in the third gave Canada a brief one run lead before Bellinger knocked in the Cubs’ third run of the game in the bottom of the inning.
With two out in the fourth inning, Canada took their third lead of the ballgame when Otto Lopez’ (Montréal, QC) single to right brought in Abraham Toro (Longueuil, QC) to make it 4-3.
Canada’s luck changed in the sixth when Bellinger took reliever Curtis Taylor (Port Coquitlam, BC) over the wall in right field to tie the score, before scoring three runs in the seventh coming on three hits and a walk with Adam Loewen (Surrey, BC) on the mound.
Down by seven runs in the ninth, Canada did not go down without a fight when Damiano Palmegiani belted a three-run homer over the left field wall to close the gap.
Canada will head to Peoria tomorrow to play their second of two WBC tune up games against the Seattle Mariners with the first pitch set for 3:10PM ET.