The Associated Press
MIAMI — With the score tied and two outs, Puerto Rico’s Alex Rios kept running from second base.
Rios scored the go-ahead run without a play, and the Puerto Ricans rallied to oust Italy from the World Baseball Classic with a 4-3 victory Wednesday night.
The Puerto Ricans went hitless in their first 12 at-bats with runners in scoring position but still overcame a 3-0 deficit to score once in the sixth inning and three times in the eighth. Rios crossed the plate standing up for the final run on a grounder to shortstop, which Jack Santora backhanded before throwing wide to first.
That was one of four misplays by Italian shortstops, including three in the sixth by Anthony Granato, who allowed an unearned run to score and was then replaced by Santora. The Italians blew a 4-0 lead in a loss Tuesday to the Dominican Republic.
The Puerto Ricans advance to Friday’s game against the winner of Thursday night’s game between the United States and Dominican Republic. R.A. Dickey will start for the U.S. team, and Minnesota Twins right-hander Samuel Deduno starts for the Dominicans.
Hiram Burgos (1-0) pitched 3 2-3 scoreless innings for Puerto Rico. Fernando Cabrera struck out Alex Liddi with a runner at first for his second save.