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USA, Venezuela battle for top seed in Pool 2

Miami, FL (Sports Network) - The United States tries for a third straight win and attempts to clinch the top seed from Pool 2 in the World Baseball Classic against Venezuela at Dolphin Stadium.

The United States avoided elimination and advanced to the semifinals of this event in thrilling fashion on Tuesday when David Wright's two-run bloop hit with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning capped a three-run rally, lifting the Americans to a 6-5 win over Puerto Rico.

Down 5-3, Shane Victorino and Brian Roberts stroked back-to-back singles to begin the home half against J.C. Romero. Derek Jeter lined to right but Victorino moved to third, and Roberts stole second with Jimmy Rollins at the plate. Rollins drew a walk to load the bases and Fernando Cabrera entered.

Cabrera walked Kevin Youkilis to force in a run, and Wright had a 2-1 count before slicing a pitch just inside the right-field line to score both Roberts and Rollins to end the game.

Wright finished 3-for-4, Youkilis hit a solo homer and drove in two runs and Victorino collected three hits and also knocked in a run for the Americans, who avenged an 11-1 defeat on Saturday to the island territory.

Getting the call for Team USA tonight will be righty Jeremy Guthrie.

Venezuela, meanwhile, advanced to the semis with a win over Puerto Rico on Monday. Armando Galarraga is expected to get the nod on the hill tonight for Luis Sojo's club.

This will be the third meeting between these teams this tournament. The U.S. won the first matchup before Venezuela returned the favor in the final game of Pool C.

03/18 10:24:44 ET


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