In their first game of the second round of the World Baseball Classic in San Diego, Team USA came back to defeat Venezuela, 4-2.
Adam Jones led off the bottom of the 8th inning with a solo home run off Chicago Cubs closer Hector Rondon to tie the game at 2-2. A single followed before Rondon recorded an out. On the very next pitch, Eric Hosmer gave the US the lead with a two-run homer.
Team USA actually loaded the bases with two outs, but Bruce Rondon entered and struck out Detroit teammate Ian Kinsler to end the rally.
That was enough for Luke Gregorson, who walked Miguel Cabrera with one out in the ninth, but then induced a game ending double play from Victor Martinez.
The game was a pitchers’ duel, as US starter Drew Smyly and Venezuela starter Felix Hernandez (now teammates in Seattle) matched zero for zero. Smyly’s throwing error in the third on a bunt led to Venezuela’s first run on a sac fly. Smyly struck out the final six batters he faced (4.2IP). King Felix allowed three hits and struck out three over five scoreless innings.
Venezuela got their second run on a Rougned Odor no-doubt homer in the seventh with two outs against David Robertson.
Team USA got on the board in the bottom of the seventh when Hosmer singled to start the inning. He moved to second base on an error, moved to third base on a fly out, and scored on a sac fly.
Shortstop Alcides Escobar went 1-for-3 with a strikeout for Venezuela.
The US is back in action on Friday night at 10pm ET against Puerto Rico. Marcus Stroman will get the start for Team USA. Venezuela plays the Dominican Republic tonight at 10pm ET. All games are on MLB Network.