Grand slam from Wright leads US past Italy 6-2, now must face Canada
APPHOENIX -- With one swing, David Wright got the sputtering U.S. team off the mat in the World Baseball Classic.
March 11, 2013, 12:10 am TWN
The New York Mets slugger hit a two-out grand slam and the U.S. pitching did the rest in a 6-2 victory over Italy Saturday night.
Manager Joe Torre said he was finally able “to exhale” after Wright's hit
“Because we have been teasing ourselves the last couple of days and all of a sudden we blast it open,” Torre said.
The U.S. (1-1) meets Canada (1-1) in the final game of Pool D play on Sunday 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.
“We were in the clubhouse last night and there was dead silence,” Torre said. “It is a pretty determined group and when you look into their eyes you see something special.”
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.
Vogelsong said the experience was “very similar” to the feelings he had last season in San Francisco's' run to the World Series title.