World Baseball Classic: US beats Italy, must win today to advance

2013-03-10T00:00:00Z World Baseball Classic: US beats Italy, must win today to advanceThe Associated Press The Associated Press
March 10, 2013 12:00 am  • 

PHOENIX - David Wright hit a two-out grand slam in the fifth inning, and the United States beat Italy 6-2 Saturday night in the World Baseball Classic.

The United States (1-1) meets Canada (1-1) in the final game of Pool D play today with the winner advancing to the second round.

Ryan Vogelsong of the San Francisco Giants settled down after a shaky start to get the victory. He went four-plus innings, allowing two runs and six hits, striking out four.

The United States, bouncing back from Friday night's 5-2 loss to Mexico, fell behind 2-0 after two innings but shut the Italian squad down on two hits the rest of the way.

Italy (2-1) clinched a second-round berth for the first time in its WBC history when Mexico (1-2) lost to Canada earlier Saturday.

Selig has a dream

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig would like to see a true World Series someday.

Speaking during the game between the United States and Mexico on Friday night, Selig said he would like to see baseball globalize and called the idea of a worldwide championship "breathtaking."

He said a true World Series is a long way off, but with the popularity of baseball in places like Japan and Korea, the sport might not be recognizable in a decade or so. Selig added that a potential real World Series between the U.S. and Japan would only make baseball stronger worldwide.

He also said he would like to see baseball as an Olympic sport, but it wouldn't be practical because the season here would stop for more than two weeks.

Inside pitch

• On Friday night, Mexico appeared to be clearly better than the U.S. team.

"They outplayed us in every area of the game, and that is what you get," Wright said. "A pretty convincing win for them."

• Mexico beat the Americans in the WBC in 2006. But in that win, the Mexicans had already been eliminated and were able to play loose.

"The last one, we knew we were out, and that put us in a position where we had nothing to lose," said Mexico first baseman Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers.

Today

• Who: USA vs. Canada

• Where: Chase Field

• When: 1 p.m.

• TV: MLB Network

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