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Venezuela gets past the U.S., 5-3

Henry Blanco hits a home run to help lift the winners.

March 12, 2009|Associated Press

Catcher Henry Blanco hit a home run and made a key throw in the ninth inning, and Venezuela defeated the United States, 5-3, Wednesday in Toronto to win Pool C at the World Baseball Classic.

U.S. catcher Chris Iannetta hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning.

Center fielder Gregor Blanco had three hits for Venezuela.

Both teams are headed to the second round of the tournament in Miami, where the U.S. will open against Puerto Rico on Saturday night.

Venezuela will play the Netherlands earlier the same day.

Mexico 16, Australia 1 -- Right fielder Karim Garcia was four for four, including two home runs, and drove in four runs in a Pool B elimination game at Mexico City that was stopped after six innings because of the 10-run rule.

Mexico battered eight pitchers for 13 hits, including a home run by left fielder Scott Hairston, whose two-run shot highlighted a seven-run fourth inning.

Second baseman Edgar Gonzalez and third baseman Jorge Cantu each had two hits for Mexico, which plays Cuba today for first place in the pool. Both have advanced to the next round.

Right-hander Jorge Campillo gave up six hits and one run over 4 2/3 innings to pick up the victory.

Puerto Rico 5, Netherlands 0 -- Right fielder Alex Rios hit a run-scoring triple and Puerto Rico finished 3-0 in Pool D play.

Center fielder Carlos Beltran, designated hitter Ivan Rodriguez and catcher Geovany Soto each drove in a run.

Eight Puerto Rico pitchers combined to strike out 13 batters.



All times Pacific; all games on MLB.TV, ESPN Deportes



Foro Sol Stadium, Mexico City


Mexico 16, Australia 1


Mexico vs. Cuba, 6 p.m., MLBN



Rogers Centre, Toronto


Venezuela 5, USA 3


Hiram Bithorn Stadium, San Juan, Puerto Rico


Puerto Rico 5, Netherlands 0



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