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Monday, March 09, 2009

Team USA Pounces On Venezuela's Pen, Wins Big

It may have all started with a suspect bullpen move by Team Venezuela. The next thing they knew, the United States clinched a berth in Round Two, finishing a 15-6 victory off with a double play groundout by Miguel Cabrera.

Roy Oswalt started for Team USA and allowed one run through three innings. The fourth inning was where he hit a wall. Carlos Guillen walked with one out and Jose Lopez doubled. A groundout by Ramon Hernandez drove in a run, Marco Scutaro walked and Gregor Blanco singled home another run, giving Venezuela a 3-2 lead.

They carried that lead into the sixth inning. The frame started with Kevin Youukilis striking out, but the pitch got away from Hernandez and Youkilis was able to make it to first base. David Wright singled to move Youkilis to second and Adam Dunn drew a walk. Mark DeRosa, who had given Team USA a 2-1 lead in the fourth with a two-run triple, then worked a walk to force in a run. Venezuela then brought in left-hander Carlos Vasquez to face the right-handed Chris Ianetta. Team USA's catcher responded with a bases-clearing double that gave the United States a 5-2 lead. After Curtis Granderson struck out, Derek Jeter, who came in for Jimmy Rollins in the fifth, walked and then Dustin Pedroia followed with a two-run double and after Ryan Braun's groundout, Youkilis, the 10th man to bat in the inning, launched a two-run homer to left. The eight runs scored in the inning is a Team USA high and World Baseball Classic record for runs scored in an inning. Team USA relievers combined to hold Venezuela to three runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Ianetta, starting in his first game, went 2-3 with the three-run double and two walks, scoring a run. Youkilis went 2-6, hitting a two-run homer and scoring four runs. Adam Dunn walked, singled and homered, scoring three runs for Team USA.

Jose Lopez was the hitting star for Team Venezuela. He went 3-4 with three doubles, also scoring two runs. Leadoff hitter Gregor Blanco was 3-5 with two singles, a triple, a stolen base and a run scored.

Venezuela will play the winner of the Italy-Canada elimination game.

W - Matt Lindstrom (1-0)
L - Victor Zambrano (0-1)
HR - USA - Kevin Youkilis (2)
Adam Dunn (2)
Ryan Braun (1)
VEN - Carlos Guillen (2)


C Chris Ianetta, United States - 2-4, 2B, 2 BB, R, 4 RBI

1B Kevin Youkilis, United States - 2-6, HR, 4 R, 2 RBI

LF-3B Mark DeRosa, United States - 1-2, 3B, R, BB, SF, 4 RBI

EDIT: Added link to box score and updated future game scenarios.

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