Canada downs Cuba in Premier 12 opener behind dominant start from Phillipe Aumont
Former Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders drives in winning run
Starter Phillipe Aumont was nearly unhittable for Canada.
The Gatineau, Que., native, who spent parts of four seasons in the Philadelhia Phillies organization, allowed just two hits over eight shutout innings as the 10th-ranked Canadians defeated No. 5 Cuba 3-0 in their opening game at the WBSC Premier 12 Olympic Baseball tournament on Tuesday in Seoul, South Korea.
Former Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders drove home the winning run with a single in the fourth inning following Eric Wood's lead-off double. Wood finished 2-for-3 with a pair of walks.
Left-fielder Tristan Pompey and designated hitter Rene Tosoni drew bases-loaded walks in the seventh inning as insurance runs.
Aumont, 30, allowed just one walk across 95 pitches, striking out nine Cubans in the process.
WATCH | Canada wins opener vs. Cuba:
Scott Mathieson, whom the Phillies released in 2011, worked around an error to complete Canada's shutout and earn the save.
The Cuban pitching staff limited Canada to just six hits, but walked nine. Three of them came in the top of the eighth inning from reliever Livan Moinelo and led to two insurance runs and 3-0 lead for the Canadians.
Canada plays host Korea on Thursday at 4:40 a.m. ET. Watch all the action live here.
The 12-team, $5.2-million US tournament runs through Nov. 17 and serves as a 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualifier. One spot goes to the highest-placed finisher from the Americas and one will be awarded to the highest finisher in the Super Round/Finals from the Asia/Oceania region.
With files from The Canadian Press