The Houston Astros faithful's support could have easily split during Wednesday's World Baseball Classic action. Their best finish to date has been 4th place in 2009, and they failed to advance out of the second round in 2013.
He walked Miguel Cabrera with one out, but then Victor Martinez hit the ball to the right side and into the shift, where third baseman Nolan Arenado had moved to and the USA completed an easy 5-6-3 double play.
Drew Smyly goes for the Americans tonight against a tough foe, Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez. He allowed just an unearned run on three hits in 4 2/3 innings and struck out eight, including the last six batters he faced.
The US would threaten in the 6th inning, putting two runners on when Ian Kinsler singled and Adam Jones reached on an error by Rougned Odor. However, Venezuelan reliever Jose Castillo entered to strike out Yelich and Nolan Arenado to keep the U.S. off the board. Not bad for a 21-year-old who's never pitched above A-ball.
Trailing 2-1 through seven, Jones led off the eighth with a home run to left-center field off Hector Rondon to tie the game.
Hosmer also singled and scored on a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning as the United States erased a 2-0 deficit.
After Pat Neshek put down the Venezuelans in order in the Top of the 8th, magic happened.
Jones would homer to knot things up and United States of America would burst through the door.
Yelich would follow that up with a single, and after Arenado flew out to Brewers super utility man and Venezuelan hero Hernan Perez, Eric Hosmer caused Petco Park to erupt with a go-ahead two-run blast.
U.S. joins Puerto Rico at 1-0 in the pool while Venezuela and the defending champion Dominican Republic are 0-1.
A "Party in the Park" with live music and drink specials will be held at Park in the Park for ticket holders to Thursday's game between the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.
Both starters were sharp through two innings before Venezuela struck first in the third.
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