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Puerto Rico thrash U.S. at World Baseball Classic
MIAMI (Reuters) - Carlos Beltran and Felipe Lopez hit home runs to help Puerto Rico thrash the United States 11-1 in the second round of the World Baseball Classic Saturday.
The Puerto Rican team scored six runs in just two innings off U.S. starter Jake Peavy before the game was ended after just seven innings due to the tournament's mercy rule.
The U.S. finished eighth in the 2006 inaugural Classic but were considered a serious contender this time and now must play the Netherlands in an elimination game Sunday, with the loser out of the tournament.
"Embarrassment is the only word that comes to mind," U.S. right fielder Adam Dunn told reporters. "It is unacceptable.
"You go out and play like that, you get what you get."
Puerto Rico took a 6-0 lead after two innings and after the teams traded runs in the fifth inning, then scored four more runs in the bottom of the seventh to end the game.
"I take full responsibility for the ...loss," Peavy said. "Nothing was working. Just a tough night."
Puerto Rico catcher Ivan Rodriguez had three hits, including a double and an RBI. Beltran also had three hits and scored three runs, while Lopez had three RBIs.
"To beat the United States like that, to take them out in seven innings and win by 10, that's big," Rodriguez said.
Javier Vazquez pitched five innings for the win, allowing one run on four hits with two strikeouts.
Also Saturday, Miguel Cabrera and Jose Lopez belted solo home runs to help Venezuela to a 3-1 win over the Netherlands.
Carlos Silva allowed one run and four hits in seven innings, and Lopez's homer in the eighth provided some insurance. Francisco Rodriguez got the last four outs for the save.
Sidney Ponson allowed just two runs on two hits over five innings but took the loss for the Dutch after Cabrera hit a line drive home run in the fourth.
Venezuela will play Puerto Rico Monday for a chance to clinch a spot in the semi-finals in Los Angeles next week.
(Writing by Roger Lajoie in Toronto; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)
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