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WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC

Jimmy Rollins and Brian Roberts provide a spark

Infielders lead attack to back Roy Oswalt in a 9-3 victory over the Netherlands in an elimination game.

March 16, 2009|Associated Press

MIAMI — Baseball looked more like America's national pastime Sunday night.

The United States avoided elimination from the World Baseball Classic, beating the Netherlands, 9-3, in front of 11,059 at Dolphin Stadium to ease the sting of a drubbing against Puerto Rico the night before.

Shortstop Jimmy Rollins drove in four runs with a home run, triple and sacrifice fly, and second baseman Brian Roberts was three for three with two walks, two runs and two runs batted in. Right-hander Roy Oswalt pitched four scoreless innings to help eliminate the Netherlands.

Even with a six-run lead in the eighth inning, the Americans remained feisty. Right-hander Matt Lindstrom gave up a leadoff homer to Bryan Engelhardt, who took a long look at his drive before jogging around the bases. When Lindstrom's next pitch sailed behind Vince Rooi, Dutch players took several steps onto the field as they yelled angrily at the pitcher.

"I thought he took a little bit too long watching it," Lindstrom said.

Lindstrom retired Rooi, faced three more batters and left because of a stiff shoulder. He was scheduled for an MRI exam today.

The U.S. will play an elimination game Tuesday night against the loser of tonight's game between Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Left-hander Ted Lilly is scheduled to pitch for the Americans, who will advance to the semifinals next weekend at Dodger Stadium with a victory.

The U.S. bounced back from an 11-1 loss to Puerto Rico on Saturday, with the game ending in the seventh inning because of the 10-run rule.

Oswalt left with a 6-0 lead. He gave up five hits but struck out five and escaped a bases-loaded jam in the third inning. LaTroy Hawkins, Scot Shields and Jonathan Broxton each pitched one scoreless inning.

Adam Dunn hit his third homer of the tournament, and Roberts sparked the offense only hours after joining the team as a replacement for second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

Florida Marlins right-hander Rick VandenHurk, pitching in his home ballpark as the Dutch starter, lasted only two innings and gave up three runs, one earned.

The U.S. led, 8-0, before Yurendell DeCaster doubled in the Netherlands' first run, in the seventh inning.

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World Baseball Classic

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

ROUND 2

POOL 1

Petco Park, San Diego

Sunday

Japan 6, Cuba 0

South Korea vs. Mexico, late

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POOL 2

Dolphin Stadium, Miami

Sunday

U.S. 9, Netherlands 3

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SEMIFINALS, FINAL

Dodger Stadium, March 21-23

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