Team USA Smacks Two Eighth-Inning Dongs To Beat Venezuela

After trailing for nearly all of Wednesday's second-round game against Venezuela, the Americans came through with three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to earn a thrilling 4-2 comeback win.

In the bottom half of the seventh inning, Team USA got that run right back via a sacrifice fly off the bat of Jonathan Lucroy. US pitcher Drew Smyly carved apart the Venezuela lineup. For his part, King Felix scattered three hits and struck out three without walking a batter.

Felix Hernandez, who was hammered in his Round 1 start against Puerto Rico, returned to form Wednesday night.

For Venezuela, Felix Hernandez made easy work of the United States of America squad.

Rougned Odor homered for Venezuela, but he also committed two errors at third base, a new position, including one that helped Team USA finally get on the board in the seventh. He played right field in this game after starting in left field during his first game.

Then Jones tied the game with a blast off Hector Rondon to open the eight, Christian Yelich singled and Hosmer lined a one-out homer to right center for their first lead of the game. After a single up the middle by Carlos Gonzalez, and a throwing error by Smyly on a sacrifice bunt, Ender Inciarte hit a sacrifice fly and Venezuela took a 1-0 lead.

The USA trailed by two runs late and used two home runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to win the game. He allowed three straight singles to Lucroy, Alex Bregman and Ian Kinsler with one out in the third before Jones grounded into a double play. It was reported after the game that he injured his hamstring and could miss the team's final two games in the pool. In four out of the five innings, Hernandez went three-up, three-down. A half-inning later, former Padres reliever Luke Gregerson fetched a game-ending double play to preserve the win in front of a crowd of 16,635.

How has Scott Boras not mentioned that Eric Hosmer is in the heart of the order over Paul Goldschmidt?

  • Joanne Flowers