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Wright lifts Team USA over Puerto Rico

Miami, FL (Sports Network) - David Wright went 2-for-5 and drove in five runs as the United States tagged Puerto Rico, 7-1, in a World Baseball Classic second round game on Tuesday.

Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Braun each had two hits and scored twice while Joe Mauer and Adam Jones drove in a run each for the United States, which got five innings of three-hit, five-strikeout work from starter Gio Gonzalez (1-0).

The United States advances to take on the Dominican Republic on Thursday, with a spot in championship round at stake. The Dominicans took down Italy, 5-4, earlier in Pool 2 play on Tuesday.

Angel Pagan drove in the lone run of the game for Puerto Rico, which will play Italy in an elimination contest on Wednesday. Mario Santiago (0-1) gave up three runs on five hits over 4 1/3 innings to take the loss.

The Americans got on the board in the first inning as Braun drew a two-out walk and Mauer followed with a double that rolled into the gap of left- center for a 1-0 lead.

It was a 2-0 game in the third inning when the United States loaded the bases and Wright hit into a force out, plating Brandon Phillips.

Rollins led off the fifth with a single for the Americans and moved to second on a sac bunt from Phillips. Braun then reached base and Rollins moved to third on a wild pitch on strike three and Andres Santiago replaced Mario Santiago on the mound.

Mauer then worked a walk to load the bases and Wright drove in his second run of the game with a single for a 3-0 lead. Eric Hosmer struck out and Jones grounded out to end the frame.

Meanwhile, Gonzalez only got into trouble once in his work after giving up a one-out double to Carlos Beltran in the fourth. Beltran then moved to third on a Yadier Molina groundout, but Mike Aviles flied out to end the frame.

Jeremy Affeldt gave up a one-out single to Irving Falu in the sixth, but then induced a double play from Alex Rios and Vinnie Pestano pitched around a two- out single to Aviles in the seventh.

Jones' RBI single in the bottom of the seventh scored Hosmer for a 4-0 lead.

Puerto Rico appeared poised for a big inning in the eighth as Jesus Feliciano was hit by a pitch from Steven Cishek to start the frame and Eddie Rosario doubled to put men on second and third. The team managed to get just one run across, though, on a Pagan groundout. Falu then struck out and Rios popped out in foul territory along the first base line to keep it a 4-1 game.

Wright killed any hopes for a comeback in the bottom of the eighth when he launched a double to right with the bases loaded, clearing the bags for a 7-1 advantage.

03/12 23:50:26 ET


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