MIAMI (AP) — Nelson Cruz's two-out RBI single broke a seventh-inning tie, and the Dominican Republic overcame an early four-run deficit to beat Italy 5-4 Tuesday in the World Baseball Classic.
The Dominicans (4-0) remained unbeaten and advanced to a winner's-bracket game Thursday night in the double-elimination second round.
Robinson Cano had three hits, including his second homer of the WBC with a drive off the upper-deck facade in right field. Jose Reyes also homered for the Dominican Republic.
Chris Colabello hit a three-run homer, his second, to give Italy a 4-0 lead in the first inning.
The Dominicans trailed 4-2 in the seventh, when they loaded the bases with one out on consecutive singles by Reyes, Erick Aybar and Cano off Pat Venditte (0-1).
Edwin Encarnacion walked to force in a run, and Hanley Ramirez tied the game with a sacrifice fly. Cruz followed with a broken-bat, two-out single to give the Dominicans their first lead.
Cruz has six RBIs in four WBC games.
The crowd of 14,482 was festive for the opening game in Miami, with horn-honking and chanting by Dominican fans who created a steady din. The retractable roof, closed for all but eight Marlins games last year, was open on an 80-degree afternoon.
Pedro Strop (2-0) threw a scoreless seventh. Fernando Rodney, who has yet to allow a hit in four appearances, pitched a hitless ninth for his third save.
Five relievers limited Italy to one hit and no runs over the final 4 2-3 innings.
Early wildness plagued Dominican starter Edinson Volquez, who threw only one of his first 13 pitches for a strike as he walked the bases loaded. Alex Liddi's sacrifice fly made it 1-0, and Colabello followed with a homer.
Volquez allowed four runs in 4 1-3 innings.
Tiago Da Silva went 5 1-3 innings for Italy and allowed two runs, both on homers. The Italians play in a losers'-bracket game Wednesday.