Italy did not advance past the first round in the first two World Baseball Classics, but it scored an early upset this year by rallying for two runs in the ninth inning Thursday night to defeat Mexico, 6-5, in a WBC opener at Chase Field in Phoenix.
And a couple of Dodgers -- and another with a Dodger connection -- were right in the middle of the action.
Dodgers utilityman Nick Punto ignited Italy's rally with a one-out double against Mexico (and San Francisco Giants) closer Sergio Romo.
And even in the loss, Mexico (and Dodgers) first baseman Adrian Gonzalez had a big game, reaching base in all five plate appearances with two hits, a pair of walks and by getting hit with a pitch.
However, Gonzalez's older brother, Edgar, didn't fare so well. Playing left field, he got a poor jump on Punto's double, which should have been caught. Anthony Rizzo's game-winning, two-run double also should have been caught, going off Gonzalez's glove.