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Italy, Venezuela try to stay alive at WBC

Toronto, Ontario (Sports Network) - Italy tries to take a surprising spot in the second round of the World Baseball Classic when it continues Pool C play with an elimination contest against Venezuela at Rogers Centre.

While tonight's loser will go home, the winner will advance out of the pool to the second round along with the United States and will play the American team for the pool's top seed on Wednesday.

After getting shutout by Venezuela to open the tournament, Italy stayed alive with a stunning upset on Monday, as Chris Denorfia went 4-for-4, scored twice and drove in a pair in a 6-2 victory over Canada.

Denorfia had three doubles for Italy, while Alex Liddi added two hits and two RBI. Dan Serafini earned the win after allowing two runs on four hits and three walks in three-plus innings pitched.

Right-hander Adam Ottavino is expected to take the ball for tonight for Italy, which finished 10th at the inaugural Classic.

Venezuela, meanwhile, will be trying to bounce back from a 15-6 loss to Team USA on Sunday.

Jose Lopez went 3-for-4 with two runs scored in the loss for Venezuela, while Gregor Blanco added three hits, an RBI and a run scored.

However, Detroit Tigers teammates Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez highlighted the Venezuelan's struggles by combining to go 0-for-9 with three strikeouts.

Victor Zambrano took the loss after allowing four runs on two hits and two walks in one-plus innings pitched. Andres Galarraga started, going four innings and giving up two runs on five hits and a walk while striking out four.

Righty Enrique Gonzalez is expected to toe the rubber this evening for Luis Sojo's club.

03/10 10:49:53 ET


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