Wright's grand slam leads U.S. past Italy

PHOENIX — David Wright hit a two-out grand slam in the fifth inning and the United States beat Italy 6-2 Saturday night in the World Baseball Classic.

The U.S. (1-1) meets Canada (1-1) in the final game of Pool D play today with the winner advancing to the second round.

Ryan Vogelsong settled down after a shaky start to get the victory. The San Francisco right-hander went four-plus innings, allowing two runs and six hits, striking out four.

The U.S., bouncing back from Friday night's 5-2 loss to Mexico, fell behind 2-0 after two innings but shut the Italian squad down on two hits the rest of the way.

Italy (2-1) clinched a second-round berth for the first time in its WBC history when Mexico lost to Canada earlier Saturday.

Washington's Ross Detwiler blanked Italy on one hit over the final four innings to get the save.

Vogelsong left after giving up a leadoff single in the fifth, then his Giants teammate Jeremy Affeldt retired three straight to end the inning. Detwiler did the rest.

Wright, Jimmy Rollins, Brandon Phillips and Ryan Braun had two hits apiece for the United States.

Down 2-1 after four innings, the U.S. finally got the big hit it had been lacking in WBC play.

Adam Jones led off the fifth with a walk, then Jonathan Lucroy singled and Phillips singled Jones home to tie it at 2-2.

Ryan Braun narrowly missed a home run on a foul ball to deep left but struck out, then Joe Mauer walked to load the bases.

That brought up Wright, and the New York Mets slugger hit Matt Torra's 1-2 pitch over the left field wall several rows into the seats and the United States had its first lead of the tournament, 6-2.

The Americans squandered an early opportunity when Rollins singled and Phillips reached safely on a bunt for a base hit in the first. But Braun hit into a double play and Mauer flew out.

Wright's slam was the second for the United States in its WBC history. The first was by Jason Varitek against Canada on March 8, 2005.


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