Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - The Pool D opener between Italy and Mexico certainly didn't lack drama.
Italy rallied with two runs in the top of the ninth and Jason Grilli escaped a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the inning to close out a 6-5 win over Mexico.
Sergio Romo (0-1) was tasked with protecting a 5-4 Mexico lead, but after a pinch-hitting Lorenzo Avagnina grounded out to begin the ninth, Nick Punto ripped a double and Chris Denorfia followed with a single.
Anthony Rizzo then launched a fly ball that popped out of left fielder Edgar Gonzalez's glove and was ruled a double, allowing both runners to score.
Mexico then looked to muster a comeback of its own.
Grilli gave up a leadoff single to pinch-hitter Efren Navarro and Eduardo Arredondo bunted pinch-runner Walter Ibarra to second base. After Luis Cruz drew a two-out walk, Grilli hit Adrian Gonzalez with a pitch.
Next up was Jorge Cantu, who came to the plate with the bases loaded in the first inning and cleared them with a double.
This time, however, Cantu grounded out to second to end the game.
Italy's Nick Pugliese (1-0) didn't allow a hit over 1 1/3 innings to earn the win.
Alex Liddi and Mike Costanzo each hit RBI singles off Mexico starter Rodrigo Lopez in the first inning.
Mexico moved ahead on Cantu's one-out double off Italy starter John Mariotti, and Ramiro Pena made it 4-2 with an RBI double in the second.
A two-run homer by Drew Butera pulled Italy even in the fourth, but Mexico regained the lead in the next inning on Cruz's run-scoring double.
03/07 19:36:32 ET