BWC: USA – Venezuela 9-13 (11)
VEN 000 101 500 24 13 10 1 USA 240 100 000 20 9 13 0
Team USA suffered a surprise 9-13 loss, blowing a five-run lead in the process. Dirimo Chavez completed the victory with a grand slam in the second extra inning. Rene Reyes had tied the score with another grand slam earlier. Justin Smoak’s two homeruns and five RBI went for nothing.
Team USA and Venezuela entered the Baseball World Cup on Thursday, playing game two of Pool E at the Armin Wolf Arena in Regensburg, Germany. In front of an energetic crowd, the reigning title holder didn’t waste any time to get a perfect start into the tournament. They scored six early runs and still led 7-2 after six innings. Justin Smoak had three extra base hits in his first three at bats, including two homeruns. Tug Hulett also homered for the Americans.
But Venezuela came back in the seventh. The third pitcher in the game for the USA, Jason Childers, didn’t had much control, loaded the bases with three walks, forced in a run by hitting Michael Sandoval, who earlier hit a solo homerun, and served up the game-tying grand slam. Rene Reyes, who made 81 games for the Colorado Rockies, hit a 2-1 pitch over the fence in center field to even the score at 7-7.
Relievers Jose Escalona (VEN) and Cedric Bowers, Ehren Wasserman (both USA) held the scoreboard clean after the game-tying rally and the game went into tenth. With the game on the line in extra innings, each team will start the frame with two runners on first and second and no outs. Both teams scored twice in the tenth, but the eleventh decided the outcome.
After two quick strikeouts by former Major Leaguer Nate Field, Venezuela loaded the bases with a walk for Bilbao’s Dirimo Chavez, who sent the sixth pitch of the at bat over the fence in left field for the second grand slam of the night and a 13-9 lead for his team. Team USA was shocked and couldn’t find another answer and the first big surprise of the Baseball World Cup was perfect.