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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The United States moved within a win of qualifying for the Olympic baseball tournament, routing Canada 10-1 Friday night in a game that included a 30-minute delay in the eighth inning when a ball initially called a two-run homer was changed to an RBI double.
The Americans (2-0) would reach the Olympics if they beat Venezuela (1-1) on Saturday night at Port St. Lucie. If the U.S. loses, the berth at this tournament would come down to tiebreakers.
The Dominican Republic (1-1) plays Canada (0-2) earlier Saturday at West Palm Beach.
Phillies prospect Luke Williams had a solo homer and a two-run double, falling a triple short of a cycle.
Todd Frazier hit a two-run homer that capped a seven-run eighth, and former Olympic speed skater Eddy Alvarez had an RBI triple.
Drew Parrish, a 23-year-old right-hander in the Royals organization, won by pitching two scoreless innings of two-hit relief.
Seattle prospect Eric Filia hit an RBI single in the third, but Detroit prospect Jacob Robson homered in the fourth off U.S. starter Homer Bailey, who allowed four hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Williams homered for a 2-1 lead in the fifth off loser Chris Leroux, a 37-year-old left-hander whose last major league appearance was in 2014. Leroux allowed four runs — three earned — and three hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Alvarez's triple boosted the lead in the sixth.
With the score 2-1 in the eighth and Logan Forsythe on first following a leadoff walk, Red Sox prospect Triston Casas hit a drive that struck the padding atop the right-center field wall and bounced off a temporary wall behind and stuck, allowing right fielder Jesse Hodges to retrieve the ball.
Initially ruled a home run by second base umpire Rubén Ramos of Puerto Rico, umpires held a video review and plate umpire Elvin Jiménez of Venezuela signaled for a double but allowed Forsythe to score.
Canada manager Ernie Whitt filed a protest, ruling it should have been a ground-rule double and Forsythe should have been forced to stop at third. But because Hodges took the ball from the top of the wall, umpires appeared to rule the ball remained live, and they allowed Forsythe to score.
The video review, discussions with the managers and Whitt bringing in Travis Seabrooke to relieve caused a half-hour delay.
Boston prospect Jarren Duran hit a two-run triple later in the inning that appeared to hit the padding atop the left-field wall, a call upheld in a video review. Frazier followed with a home run into the left-field bullpen.
The tournament winner joins Japan, Israel, Mexico and South Korea at the Olympic baseball tournament, to be played in Japan from July 28 to Aug. 7 in Fukushima and Yokohama.
Second- and third-place teams advance to a final qualifier in June in Mexico, which will include Australia, Netherlands and Taiwan.
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The Associated Press