The 2021 MLB trade deadline is Friday, but on the other side of the world, baseball is returning to the Olympics following a 13-year hiatus. Here is everything you need to know about this year's Olympic baseball tournament, and here's what you need to know about Team USA in particular. Now here's a recap of Friday's results from Tokyo.
Dominican Republic 1, Mexico 0
Longtime big leaguer Melky Cabrera drove in the game's only run with a fifth inning double to left field against former Red Sox prospect Teddy Stankiewicz. Five Dominican Republic pitchers, including starter Angel Sanchez, limited Mexico to four hits in the shutout win. Former Reds and Rays righty Jumbo Diaz made good use of the bullpen cart prior to his scoreless inning.
The Dominican Republic lost its Olympics opener to Japan earlier this week and is 1-1 in pool play. Mexico is 0-1 and will play Japan next. If Japan wins, they will advance to the quarterfinals. If Mexico wins, there will be a tiebreaker based on run differential.
United States 8, Israel 1
The game was more competitive than the final score would lead you to believe. The United States took a 3-0 lead in the third inning thanks to a two-run home run by former Yankees first baseman Tyler Austin, and the score remained 3-1 until the sixth inning. At that point USA went to work on an overmatched Israel bullpen and piled on insurance runs.
Here is Austin's home run. The game was played at Yokohama Baseball Stadium in Tokyo, Austin's home ballpark with the Yokohama BayStars in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball league.
Austin had three hits and drove in three runs, and former MLB players Eddy Alvarez and Bubba Starling drove in two runs apiece. Alvarez won a silver medal in the 5,000 meters speed skating relay at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and is trying to become only the fourth person ever to medal in both the winter and summer Olympics.
On the mound USA right-hander Joe Ryan, , held Israel to a solo home run in six efficient innings. Israel's lineup included four players with MLB experience (Ian Kinsler, Ty Kelly, Danny Valencia, Ryan Lavarnway), yet they were unable to put much together against Ryan and three relievers.
USA is 1-0 in pool play and Israel is 0-2. USA will play South Korea on Saturday, with the winner advancing to the quarterfinals. Israel will face the lowest ranked team among the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Japan on Sunday.