Gonzalez, Wright lift U.S. at WBCGio Gonzalez gave Team USA its best start yet, and David Wright provided a big finish. Gonzalez pitched five scoreless innings and the Americans beat Puerto Rico 7-1 in the World Baseball Classic on Tuesday night.
MIAMI (AP) — Gio Gonzalez gave Team USA its best start yet, and David Wright provided a big finish.
Gonzalez pitched five scoreless innings and the Americans beat Puerto Rico 7-1 in the World Baseball Classic on Tuesday night.
Wright drove in five runs, the last three with a bases-loaded double in the eighth. That prompted chants of "U-S-A! U-S-A!" from the crowd of 32,872.
The United States fell behind in all three games in the opening round, but led from the first inning against Puerto Rico. The Americans will play Thursday night against the Dominican Republic, which remained unbeaten in the WBC by rallying past Italy 5-4 on Tuesday.
Dominican Republic 5, Italy 4
MIAMI — Nelson Cruz's two-out RBI single broke a seventh-inning tie, and the Dominican Republic overcame an early four-run deficit to beat Italy 5-4 Tuesday in the World Baseball Classic.
The Dominicans (4-0) remained unbeaten and advanced to a winner's-bracket game Thursday night in the double-elimination second round.
Robinson Cano had three hits, including his second homer of the WBC with a drive off the upper-deck facade in right field. Jose Reyes also homered for the Dominican Republic.
Chris Colabello hit a three-run homer, his second, to give Italy a 4-0 lead in the first inning.
The Dominicans trailed 4-2 in the seventh, when they loaded the bases with one out on consecutive singles by Reyes, Erick Aybar and Cano off Pat Venditte (0-1).
Edwin Encarnacion walked to force in a run, and Hanley Ramirez tied the game with a sacrifice fly. Cruz followed with a broken-bat, two-out single to give the Dominicans their first lead.
Cruz has six RBIs in four WBC games.
The crowd of 14,482 was festive for the opening game in Miami, with horn-honking and chanting by Dominican fans who created a steady din. The retractable roof, closed for all but eight Marlins games last year, was open on an 80-degree afternoon.
TOKYO — Shinnosuke Abe homered twice in an eight-run second inning as two-time defending champion Japan beat the Netherlands 10-6 to secure first place in Pool 1 of the World Baseball Classic.
Japan and the Netherlands have qualified for the semifinals in San Francisco on March 17-18. The game Tuesday was to decide the pool winner and runner-up.
Andrelton Simmons led off the game with a solo homer to left but the lead didn’t last long. Abe hit a solo homer to tie the game in the second, which also featured a bases-clearing double by Hisayoshi Chono and a three-run homer by Abe.
The Netherlands closed the gap to 8-6 with two runs in the seventh and three in the eighth.
But Japan scored two more in the ninth.