Phillips gets 4 hits, but Rockies beat Team USA
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Brandon Phillips got four hits for Team USA, but the Colorado Rockies rallied for six runs in the bottom of the ninth inning for an 8-7 win Wednesday night.
The final score was a bit misleading - the Rockies' comeback came against a pair of Colorado minor league pitchers borrowed by the U.S. squad to finish out the game.
It was the final tuneup for the United States before it begins World Baseball Classic play Friday night against Mexico at Chase Field in Phoenix.
David Wright singled twice, drove in a run and made a spectacular play at third base for the U.S. team.
The U.S. team got 18 hits, including Jonathan Lucroy's two-run double after first baseman Tyler Colvin's throwing error in the fifth. Adam Jones doubled and singled twice for the U.S. team.
After stranding two runners in each of the first two innings, the U.S. broke through in the third when Phillips led off with a double and scored on Wright's two-out single.
The U.S. squad, which tied the Chicago White Sox 4-all in its other exhibition game Tuesday, added a run in the fourth on Phillips' RBI single.
After Wright's one-out single in the fifth, Colvin fielded Eric Hosmer's sharp bouncer but threw wildly past second, leaving runners at first and third. Jones brought one home with a single, then two more crossed when Lucroy doubled down the left-field line.
David Hernandez, Vinnie Pestano, Jeremy Affeldt and Craig Kimbrel each pitched an inning for Team USA. The only hit off them was Yorvit Torrealba's single off Affeldt in the third.
Wright made an excellent diving stop down the line of Torrealba's sharp grounder, then threw him out.
Hosmer, the Kansas City first baseman who just joined the U.S. team Wednesday to replace the injured Mark Teixeira, misplayed a grounder that allowed a run to score in the seventh.
NOTES: U.S. manager Joe Torre will start Toronto's R.A. Dickey in Friday night's opener, San Francisco's Ryan Vogelsong against Italy on Saturday night and Texas' Derek Holland against Canada on Sunday. Starters are limited to 65 pitches under WBC rules. ... A Colorado minor leaguer took over for U.S. team star Ryan Braun in left field when he exited. ... There's a good chance Friday's game between Italy and Canada will be shifted from Salt River Fields in Scottsdale to Chase Field in Phoenix because of rain. Chase has a retractable roof. ... Hernandez initially was on the Mexico team roster but was ruled ineligible because his closest Mexican-born relatives, his great-grandparents, were too far removed. Players must have had at least grandparents born in the country they represent. Almost immediately, Hernandez was added to the U.S. roster, replacing injured Cleveland closer Chris Perez. ... The U.S. and Canadian teams work out Thursday at Chase, while Pool D competition opens Thursday afternoon at Salt River with Italy facing Mexico.
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