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World Baseball Classic 2013: Day 6 Results, Recap and Analysis

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World Baseball Classic 2013: Day 6 Results, Recap and Analysis
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The 2013 World Baseball Classic is in full swing after Pool A and Pool B play completed on Wednesday.

There have already been some interesting developments. Chinese Taipei, which faces defending champion Japan on Friday, has advanced to the second round of the tournament for the first time in the country's history.

South Korea, which was the runner-up in the 2009 WBC and finished third in the tournament in 2006, has already been eliminated. 

Day 6 of the 2013 WBC marked yet another thrilling round of games. Here's a recap of the day's action.

 

Italy 6, Mexico 5

In a stunning upset, Italy defeated Mexico 6-5 in Pool D play on Thursday.

Italy wasn't expected to do much coming into the tournament, but the Italians stormed back in the ninth inning and held off a late charge to shock Mexico.

Italy struck first, putting two runs on the board in the top of the first. Chris Denorfia, one of the team's most well-known players, got things started with a double. The star of the squad, young first baseman Anthony Rizzo, followed with a single. Alex Liddi and Mike Costanzo each singled to drive the two baserunners home.

But Mexico roared back in the bottom of the first, scoring three runs and taking the lead. After leadoff hitter Eduardo Arredondo walked, Ramiro Pena doubled and superstar Adrian Gonzalez walked, Jorge Cantu doubled to bring all of them home.

By the end of the first inning, it looked like it was going to be a high-scoring game.

Indeed, Mexico scored again in the second inning. Once again, Arredondo and Pena were in the center of the charge. After Arredondo singled and advanced to second on a fielding error by Denorfia, Pena doubled him home.

It was 4-2, Mexico.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

After a scoreless third inning, Italy roared back in the fourth, scoring two runs to tie it up. After reliever Alfredo Aceves replaced Mexico right-hander Rodrigo Lopez, it didn't take long for Italy to do damage. Following a Mario Chiarini single, Drew Butera homered to put the pressure back on Mexico.

After a scoreless bottom of the fourth, Mexico came back in the fifth inning to take the lead again. And, you guessed it, Arredondo scored the run. After a single by Arredondo, Pena bunted him to second. Luis Cruz doubled in the next at-bat and Arredondo had his third run of the ballgame.

It was 5-4, Mexico.

That is how the game stood...until the ninth inning. San Francisco Giants closer Sergio Romo—who was lights-out in 2012—gave up two runs in the inning as the Italians roared back to take the lead. After Nick Punto doubled and Denorfia eventually singled in a long at-bat, Rizzo rapped a two-run double to left field. 

Jason Grilli got the save for Italy, but it wasn't easy. The bases were loaded in the ninth before Cantu grounded out to end the game.

Rizzo finished 2-for-5 with two RBI and one run. Denorfia went 2-for-5 with two runs. Butera finished 1-for-4 with two RBI and one run.

For the complete box score, check out WorldBaseballClassic.com.

 

Dominican Republic 9, Venezuela 3

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In what was expected to be one of the best games of the week, the battle between the Dominican Republic and Venezuela turned out to be a blowout.

The D.R. got on the board in the first inning, with Robinson Cano blasting a two-run double to deep left field off of Anibal Sanchez. Jose Reyes and Erick Aybar scored on the play, which was a testament to just how powerful the Dominican Republic's infield truly is.

Three batters later, Nelson Cruz brought Cano in with a single to left field. After recording just one out, Sanchez was pulled.

It made no difference.

During the second inning, Cano continued to provide the runs by hitting his second double of the game. Reyes scored another run and Aybar moved into scoring position at third base.

One batter later, Edwin Encarnacion dropped in a sacrifice fly to provide further run support. The D.R. was now up 5-0.

Trailing big, World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval attempted to bring Venezuela back. Kung Fu Panda knocked in two runs of his own with a double to deep center, scoring Asdrubal Cabrera and San Francisco Giants teammate Marco Scutaro.

The following inning, Martin Prado cut the lead to 5-3 when he scored on a wild pitch by Atahualpa Severino. That was as close as the Venezuelans would come.

Hanley Ramirez quickly made his mark on this one, blasting a 404-foot home run bomb to left field during the fifth inning. This put the D.R. up 6-3 and had some questioning whether or not the Venezuelans would be able to come back.

They wouldn't.

Cruz hit a ground ruled double to drive in Ramirez two innings later. This helped capped off a monster day for the Texas Rangers' slugger and bring the Dominican Republic's lead to 7-3.

For good measure, Alejandro De Aza drove Cruz and Carlos Santana to make it 9-3.

Santiago Casilla and Fernando Rodney came in for the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, in an attempt to close things out. Venezuela got two men on base via walks, but they failed to register a single hit against either fire-baller.

As a result, the Dominican Republic emerged victorious with a 9-3 win over Venezuela. Pedro Strop earned the win, while Sanchez took the loss.

For the complete box score, check out WorldBaseballClassic.com.

 

Netherlands 6, Cuba 2

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Continuing with the theme of the day, Netherlands shocked the world by not only beating Cuba, but winning comfortably in slightly under four hours.

In a game which Cuba (3-1) was expected to win, Netherlands (3-1) proved to be the true aggressors. In turn, they stole the honors from Italy of owning the "Upset of the Day" title.

Diegomar Markwell took the mound for Netherlands and he was brilliant. The 32-year-old pitched 6.0 innings, allowing nine hits and one earned run in the process.

His lineup decided to reward his efforts with an offensive barrage.

Matched up against Ismel Jimenez, Netherlands made good use of the deep ball. It all started in the second inning, as Curt Smith took Jimenez deep for 386 feet to left field.

This put Netherlands up 1-0 and seemed to shock the entire Cuban roster. Spoiler Alert: they never recovered.

Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons drove Kalian Sams in just three batters later and put Netherlands ahead 2-0 entering the third inning.

Never a team to show quit, Cuba's Alfredo Despaigne blasted a 380 foot home run to right field. This brought Cuba to within one run, which proved to be the deficit up until the sixth inning.

After four innings of scoreless play, Jonathan Schoop of the Baltimore Orioles approached the plate. With two on and two out, Schoop took Yadier Pedroso deep for a three-run home run.

As a result, Netherlands extended their lead to 5-1.

Markwell finished his evening by creating a double-play to end the sixth. It was one of five double-plays that Netherlands turned during the game.

Leon Boyd came in to keep the lead in tact, but Yulieski Gurriel took him deep during the seventh inning. Unfortunately for Cuba, that was all they got from there on out.

Boyd got out of the seventh after Cuba managed to get two batters on base. The following inning, he pitched a perfect eighth.

In one of the most riveting moments in Netherlands baseball history, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher Loek Van Mil closed out the historic upset out with a perfect ninth. In turn, Markwell moved to 2-0 at the WBC, while Sanchez drops to 1-1.

For the complete box score, check out WorldBaseballClassic.com.

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