Lance Lynn, Tim Anderson spark U.S. to bounce-back win at WBC

PHOENIX -- The Chicago White Sox tandem of Lance Lynn and Tim Anderson were front and center in Team USA's 12-1 win over Canada on Monday at the World Baseball Classic.

The victory improved the United States' record to 2-1 with one game remaining in pool play.

Lynn pitched five efficient innings, while Anderson played second base for the first time in his career. Anderson was flawless in the field while also contributing at the plate with two hits, a walk and a run driven in.

"What a talented ballplayer," manager Mark DeRosa said of Anderson after the game. "Giving us a spark, giving us an edge in the lineup, in the dugout ... I wanted him in there today. Today was a big game for us."

The U.S. responded in a big way after getting blown out by Mexico on Sunday. The Americans scored nine runs in the first inning, chasing 19-year-old Canadian starter Mitch Bratt. If they beat Colombia on Wednesday, they'll advance to the quarterfinals in Miami this weekend.

Lynn set the tone after DeRosa used eight pitchers in that 11-5 loss to Mexico.

"I just think with some of the stipulations and parameters that we're playing under to protect certain pitchers -- or your entire pitching staff, really -- we needed to reset in a big way after last night," DeRosa said. "And Lance provided it."

With a 65-pitch limit in pool play, Lynn understood he couldn't waste any of them. His mindset was the same as if he were pitching in a regular-season game the day after his team's bullpen was used up.

"Normal game during the season I have like 130 [pitches]," Lynn said with a laugh. "I didn't have that opportunity tonight. Those are the games you're here for. You have to go deep, and it worked out tonight."

It's working out for Anderson, as well. Despite being an All-Star with playoff appearances, he isn't of the same popularity level as Mike Trout, Mookie Betts or even some of the other players on Team USA. That's changing with every game, as Anderson is hitting .571 in pool play.

"I'm always out there to prove something," Anderson said. "Just to be among some of the greats. Get a chance for the world to see. You know what kind of athlete I am, and the guys get to know the kind of person I am. I'm thankful and blessed for this opportunity."

Trout offered his thoughts on Anderson.

"He's a star," Trout said. "There's no other way to put it. I put his swing the other way with anybody."

Anderson drew a walk in the first inning, tripled to center in the second then singled to right in the sixth. But his biggest contribution came at second base, where he played for the first time professionally.

DeRosa called Anderson in the morning to make sure the move was OK, as he wanted to pair Anderson in the lineup with shortstop Trea Turner.

"I was open for it," Anderson said. "I got comfortable as the game went on. I was able to complete the task."

DeRosa has raved about Anderson ever since the team came together last week. DeRosa recalled playing with Jimmy Rollins in the WBC in 2009 and coming away with a new appreciation for Rollins. DeRosa feels the same thing is going on with Anderson -- he's opening eyes.

"I think he wanted to let some people know how good he was in that dugout, in that clubhouse, the coaching staff, on down the line," DeRosa said. "He has really caught a lot of people's eyes on this team."

Anderson wasn't the only offensive hero, as Trout homered in his second at-bat during a long first inning after walking the first time up. In all, 12 batters came to the plate as Bratt only got one of them out before departing.

The U.S. came into the night with a purpose and exited one win away from advancing.

"We knew after the loss [Sunday] night we had to win out," Trout said. "Win out and see what happens. We have to come out [on Wednesday] with the same energy and come out with a win."