Gio Gonzalez pitched five scoreless innings and David Wright drove in five runs in a 7-1 win over Puerto Rico 7-1 in the World Baseball Classic.
MIAMI — Gio Gonzalez gave Team USA its best start yet, and David Wright provided a big finish.
Gonzalez pitched five scoreless innings and the Americans beat Puerto Rico 7-1 in the World Baseball Classic Tuesday night.
Wright drove in five runs, the last three with a bases-loaded double in the eighth. That prompted chants of “U-S-A! U-S-A!” from the crowd of 32,872.
The Americans will play Thursday night against the Dominican Republic, which remained unbeaten in the WBC by rallying past Italy 5-4.
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Puerto Rico plays Italy in an elimination game Wednesday.
Gonzalez, who grew up in nearby Hialeah, struck out five and departed with a 3-0 lead. Manager Joe Torre then went to his bullpen, and five relievers combined to allow one run over the final four innings.
Wright also had an RBI groundout and run-scoring single. In four games, he’s 7 for 16 (.438) with 10 runs batted in. Joe Mauer hit a two-out RBI double and Adam Jones had a two-run single for the U.S.
In the Dominican Republic’s win over Italy, Nelson Cruz hit a tiebreaking, two-out RBI single and Robinson Cano had three hits, including a home run.
MLB request for records rejected
MIAMI — The Miami New Times has rejected a request from Major League Baseball for records that the alternative newspaper obtained for a story that alleges several players received performance-enhancing drugs from a now-closed anti-aging clinic.
New Times editor Chuck Strouse said the newspaper has already posted dozens of records on its website.
The newspaper reported in January that six baseball players, including Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, bought human growth hormone and other PEDs during 2009-12 from Biogenesis of America LLC. Rodriguez has denied the allegations.
to A’s camp
PHOENIX — Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes rejoined the Oakland Athletics after briefly leaving spring training to be reunited with his family for the first time in about a year.
The Cuban defector surprised family members in Miami after they arrived over the weekend from the Turks and Caicos, where they had been detained as illegal immigrants. The relatives, including Cespedes’ mother, Estela Milanes, were released Jan. 21.
Cespedes was back in the A’s lineup Tuesday against the Royals, playing left field and batting cleanup.
Cespedes had a 24-hour window before he had to return to camp, but his family understood. He said he hopes his mother and many of the others will be able to attend the A’s season opener in Oakland on April 1 against the Mariners.
“I am happy,” Cespedes said at his locker through an interpreter.
Cespedes has a 3-year-old son, Yoenis Jr., still living in Cuba with the boy’s mother. He has not seen the child in two years.
Despite his worries and several injuries last season, Cespedes hit .292 with 23 home runs and 82 RBI in 129 games, finishing second to the Angels’ Mike Trout for AL Rookie of the Year.
• Shinnosuke Abe homered twice in an eight-run inning, Hisayoshi Chono drove in five runs and two-time defending champ Japan beat the Netherlands 10-6 to win its second-round WBC group.
• Ex-Mariner Miguel Batista, 43, pitched a hitless inning to earn the victory for the Rockies against the Diamondbacks in Scottsdale, Ariz. Batista is making a bid to pitch in his 15th major-league season.
• Phillies RHP Roy Halladay, a two-time Cy Young Award winner coming off an injury-plagued season, allowed seven runs in 2 2/3 innings to the Tigers in Clearwater, Fla. Still, he was encouraged. “Nothing hurts,” Halladay said.
• David Price, the AL Cy Young Award winner, was named the Rays’ opening-day starter.
• Orioles OF Nick Markakis was diagnosed with a small herniated disk in his neck and will be out about another week.