Although they defeated Venezuela 11-9 early Monday morning, Venezuela advanced because they allowed.01 less runs per defensive inning.
The World Baseball Classic Twitter account initially announced that Monday's tiebreaker game would be between Mexico and Italy.
Venezuela got a major reprieve at the World Baseball Classic.
Ricky Nolasco went four innings in the start for the Angels, giving up four hits and allowing three earned runs. "I remember when I was a player and before a Game 7 of the World Series was very stressful, and I haven't felt like that until last night". Going 1-2 in its first three matchups, with a run differential of -12, it took a late comeback win in a tiebreaker matchup against Italy for Venezuela to survive the first round of action. Both posts were later deleted.
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Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times provided comments from the infielder upon his return to spring training after representing Mexico in the WBC.
With wins from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, each team to finish atop their respective pools did so undefeated.
For Venezuela, the road to Round 2 was far more hard.
Gonzalez was the biggest MLB star on Mexico's WBC roster, and has played in every edition of baseball's global tournament. With a runner on, Odor launched an opposite-field drive off the top of the left-center fence and held up at first base with an RBI single after thinking the ball had cleared the wall. That was cancelled out in the top of the ninth though by Miguel Cabrera's homer, and Venezuela soon went 4-2 ahead thanks to runs from Rougned Odor and Yangervis Solarte.