Mexico spoils USA's WBC opener
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Adrian Gonzalez clubbed a two-run home run and finished with three RBI, as Mexico spoiled the United States' World Baseball Classic opener with a 5-2 victory at Chase Field.
Eduardo Arredondo finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored, while Luis Cruz added a pair of RBI for Mexico, which was coming off a 6-5 loss to Italy in its WBC opener.
Mexico starter Yovani Gallardo (1-0) struck out four and allowed just one run on two hits and one walk over 3 1/3 innings to earn the victory. Closer Sergio Romo spun a perfect ninth to record the save.
"I think it's something that I always will remember, just being the first international tournament that I've ever played, even as a young kid," Gallardo remarked. "It's a dream of mine and here I am facing a lot of great hitters on that opposing team. It was a dream come true."
David Wright and Eric Hosmer each plated a run for the United States, which will look to get the ship righted on Saturday when it takes on Italy.
Reigning NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey made the start for the U.S. and was tagged for four runs on six hits over four frames to absorb the loss.
"We certainly were ready to go out there today, but they did a better job at what they were doing than what we were doing," Team USA manager Joe Torre admitted.
Mexico jumped on Dickey early, as Ramiro Pena followed Arredondo's leadoff single with a double to right field to put runners on second and third with no outs.
Cruz then plated Arredondo with a sacrifice fly before Pena scored on Gonzalez's ground out to second to give Mexico an early 2-0 lead.
Mexico added to the advantage in the third after Arredondo again got things started with a leadoff single. Following back-to-back ground outs, Gonzalez crushed a two-run blast deep into center field to give Mexico a 4-0 advantage.
The United States cut into the lead in the fourth, as Jimmy Rollins smacked a leadoff single before Ryan Braun worked a walk following a Brandon Phillips strike out.
Luis Mendoza then replaced Gallardo on the mound and promptly fanned Joe Mauer, but Wright came through with a two-out single to right field to score Rollins and bring the U.S. within 4-1.
Mexico got the run right back in the top of the fifth when Arredondo clubbed a leadoff double off reliever Glen Perkins and then moved to third on Pena's bunt before scoring on a sacrifice fly from Cruz to make it 5-1.
The Americans pulled within three in the eighth when Braun led off with a double that found grass in no-man's land in shallow right-center field. After Mauer and Wright were both retired, Hosmer lifted a single into shallow right field to score Braun and bring the U.S. within 5-2.
Romo, who blew a save opportunity in Mexico's loss to Italy, struck out Adam Jones to start the ninth before grounding out Jonathan Lucroy and Rollins to end the game.
Mexico continues pool play on Saturday against Canada.
03/09 02:49:11 ET