United States 3
6:30 PM ET, March 11, 2009
|W:||J. Granado (1-0)|
|L:||J. Guthrie (0-1)|
|SV:||F. Rodriguez (1)|
Venezuela avenges loss to U.S. in second meeting
TORONTO -- Francisco Rodriguez loves pitching for his country.Henry Blanco homered and made a key throw in the ninth inning to help Rodriguez earn the save as Venezuela beat the United States 5-3 on Wednesday night to win Group C at the World Baseball Classic.
Nelson: Venezuela feels heat
Venezuela is facing challenges on and off the field, writes Amy K. Nelson. Story
• Gregor and Henry Blanco combined for six hits -- including two doubles, a triple and a home run -- as Venezuela avenged an earlier 15-6 loss to the United States and won Pool C.
• The Americans finished Round 1 with a 2-1 record and a second-place finish in Pool C. They will play Pool D winner Puerto Rico in Round 2 on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.
• Francisco Rodriguez pitched a scoreless ninth inning and struck out Kevin Youkilis to end the game and earn his first save of the tournament.
-- ESPN research
Jones took swings from both sides of the plate and fielded grounders before the game and declared himself fit to play in the second round. Jones left Sunday's game with a strain in his right side. ... Wednesday was Bobby Abreu's 35th birthday. The Venezuela team celebrated with a baseball-themed cake in the clubhouse and fans sang "Happy Birthday" in Spanish during his first at-bat. ... Upset at what he felt was negative media coverage at home, Venezuela manager Luis Sojo sent word through a team official that he would not speak with reporters before the game.
|3rd||H Blanco homered to left.||1||0|
|4th||R Braun doubled to deep right, D Jeter scored, A Dunn to third.||1||1|
|5th||G Blanco tripled to deep center, H Blanco scored.||2||1|
|6th||M Scutaro singled to left, M Cabrera and E Chavez scored.||4||1|
|8th||C Iannetta homered to left, A Dunn scored.||5||3|
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|Umpires:||Home Plate - Dan Iassogna, First Base - Carlos Rey, Second Base - Jerry Meals, Third Base - Minoru Nakamura|