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Baseball Roundup

Puerto Rico romps, pushes US to brink

Associated Press / March 15, 2009
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Jake Peavy lasted only two innings last night in Miami, and Team USA soon could be gone, too.

With an embarrassing 11-1 loss to Puerto Rico that was stopped in the seventh inning because of the mercy rule, the Americans are on the ropes in Round 2 of the World Baseball Classic.

Carlos Beltran and Felipe Lopez homered as Puerto Rico rocked Peavy for six runs, dropping the US into an elimination game with Netherlands tonight.

"Everybody is embarrassed," said US shortstop Derek Jeter.

Jeter, Chipper Jones, and Kevin Youklis went a combined 0 for 9 batting 2-3-4 for Team USA, and Mark DeRosa, replacing injured Dustin Pedroia, went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts while stranding five runners.

Javier Vazquez allowed one run in five innings for Puerto Rico, which remained unbeaten through four games.

Earlier, Miguel Cabrera and Jose Lopez hit solo home runs and Carlos Silva scattered four hits over seven innings, sparking Venezuela past the Dutch, 3-1.

Rivera ready to return
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera threw 40 pitches during his second batting practice session since coming back from right shoulder surgery in October and said he has "no doubt" he will be ready for Opening Day. "Now the focus is to get some innings," said Rivera, who is set to make his first spring training appearance Tuesday . . . A.J. Burnett pitched four perfect innings in New York's 3-1 split-squad win over the Astros in Tampa . . . Scott Kazmir pitched four solid innings, yielding one run and five hits, in the Rays' 3-1 triumph over the Reds in Sarasota, Fla.

Duchscherer shelved
Athletics starter Justin Duchscherer had another setback in his rehabilitation from an arm injury and will miss the start of the season because of persistent pain in his right elbow . . . Tim Redding, signed as a free agent after going 10-11 with the Nationals in 2008, was shut down by the Mets, who cited soreness in his right shoulder.

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