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USA Baseball Defeats Dominican Republic, Advances to Olympic Semifinal

Hoping to make its stamp on baseball's return to the Olympics, Team USA defeated regional powerhouse Dominican Republic on Wednesday and earned a spot in the semifinal.

The U.S. cruised to a 3-1 win  thanks to home runs from Red Sox Double-A first baseman Triston Casas and Tyler Austin in his home ballpark in Yokohama. 

In his first appearance since a July 18 exhibition, Giants pitcher Scott Kazmir shut down a Dominican lineup that featured former MLB All-Stars José Bautista and Melky Cabrera with five scoreless innings,. 

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Team USA's only loss of the tournament came to Japan in the second round of the knockout stage. In a battle of undefeated teams, the U.S. blew a 6-3 lead before losing in extra innings. 

However, due to the double elimination bracket, the U.S. lived to fight another day and will now face the loser of South Korea-Japan on Thursday with a spot in the final on the line. 

The Dominican Republic will head to the bronze medal game where it could face the U.S. again depending on the result of Thursday's semifinal.

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