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Port Coquitlam pitcher helps keep Canada's hopes alive at World Baseball Classic

Curtis Taylor is a graduate of Terry Fox Secondary School.
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Curtis Taylor pitched for the Montogmery Biscuits when he was in the Tampa Bay Rays organization. He recently signed as a free agent with the Chicago Cubs.

Port Coquitlam’s Curtis Taylor pitched two scoreless innings and allowed just one hit in Canada’s 5-0 win over Columbia Tuesday at the World Baseball Classic in Arizona.

Taylor, who’s been toiling in the minor league systems of several Major League teams since he was drafted out of the University of British Columbia by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2016 MLB June amateur draft, entered the game in the bottom of the sixth inning, replacing starter Noah Skirrow with Canada leading 1-0. The right-handed pitcher faced seven batters and 14 of his 24 pitches were strikes.

The victory keeps alive Canada’s hope of qualifying for the quarter-finals of the tournament for the first time in its five appearances.

Canada needs one more win to advance out of pool play. The team, which is comprised mostly of minor leaguer and ex-big leaguers plays Mexico on Wednesday.

Canada opened its tournament with an 18-8 win over Great Britain in which Taylor faced five batters in relief, giving up a hit and no runs.

Taylor saw no action in Canada’s 12-1 loss to the USA on Tuesday.

After spending last year playing for three teams in the minor league system of the Washington Nationals, Taylor, 27, signed with the Chicago Cubs as a free agent in January and was assigned to its AAA affiliate in Iowa City. He’s also had stints with affiliates of the Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays and the Diamondbacks.