(Saturday, March 9th)
Final Score: United States 6, Italy 2
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - David Wright belted the go-ahead grand slam in the fifth inning, and the United States remained alive in the World Baseball Classic with a 6-2 victory over Italy Saturday night.
Joe Mauer and Brandon Phillips also drove in a run for the Americans, who will face Canada Sunday afternoon with the winner moving into the second round.
"The way we played today, it was beautiful," Phillips said. "Hopefully we can take that into the game tomorrow and try to get a win, because we really want this bad."
Italy held a 2-0 lead thanks to Nick Punto scoring on a Ryan Vogelsong wild pitch in the first inning and Anthony Granato's RBI double past center fielder Adam Jones in the second inning.
Mauer doubled to left field to drive in Ryan Braun in the fourth inning and Phillips hit a line single to right field to knock in Jones in the top of the fifth. That hit came after Jonathan Lucroy singled.
Ryan Braun nearly homered, but after the foul ball, he struck out. After Mauer walked to load the bases, Wright faced a 1-2 count from Matt Torra, but smashed an offering over the wall in left-center field.
"It seemed like we had some chances with runners in scoring position and weren't able to get that big hit," Wright said. "But that inning seemed like guys had good at-bats. Like I said, kind of kept the line moving. And tremendous momentum for us."
Vogelsong (1-0) allowed six hits and fanned four over four innings to get the win. Jeremy Affeldt pitched one frame and Ross Detwiler notched the save by allowing only one hit over the final four innings.
Marco Grifantini (0-1) was tagged for three hits and as many runs.
Despite the loss, Italy also clinched a spot in the second round when Canada beat Mexico earlier Saturday.
"It was very exciting for us," Punto said. "We just sat in the hotel room. We had a big old room where the 40 of us were in there watching the game together, and it was exciting moment for all of us. We were in there celebrating, knowing that we're moving on to Miami no matter what."
03/10 01:49:23 ET