MIAMI — With the score tied and two outs, Puerto Rico's Alex Rios kept running from second base.
Rios scored the go-ahead run without a play, and the Puerto Ricans rallied to oust Italy from the World Baseball Classic with a 4-3 victory Wednesday night.
Puerto Rico went hitless in their first 12 at-bats with runners in scoring position but still overcame a 3-0 deficit, scoring once in the sixth inning and three times in the eighth. Rios crossed the plate standing up for the final run on a grounder to shortstop, which Jack Santora backhanded before throwing wide to first.
That was one of four misplays by Italian shortstops, including three in the sixth by Anthony Granato, who allowed an unearned run to score and was replaced by Santora.
Italy's Anthony Rizzo broke a scoreless tie with a three-run double in the fifth, and Puerto Rico trailed 3-1 going into the bottom of the eighth.
The Italians blew a 4-0 lead in a loss Tuesday to the Dominican Republic.
Puerto Rico advances to Friday's game against the winner of tonight's United States-Dominican Republic matchup. R.A. Dickey will start for the Americans, Twins right-hander Samuel Deduno for the Dominicans.
MLB NIXES PENALTY PLAN: Major League Baseball has told the union it has "no interest" in a two-tiered penalty system for positive drug tests, foxports.com reported. Under the system, players who intentionally violate the program could receive harsher punishment than players who unintentionally test positive.
ASTROS: Left-hander Erik Bedard made his first appearance in two weeks because of a strained glut muscle and struck out three in one inning against a Nationals split squad.
BREWERS: Centerfielder Carlos Gomez agreed to a three-year, $24 million contract extension through the 2016 season.
CUBS: Former Rays right-hander Matt Garza, who hasn't thrown off a mound since Feb. 17 because of a strained left lat, resumed his throwing program but still is expected to be out until early May. … Shortstop Starlin Castro, out since Feb. 27 with hamstring inflammation, returned and played three innings.
DODGERS: Right-hander Zack Greinke, out with a sore elbow, had a platelet-rich plasma injection, an experimental treatment that the team has used since 2008 and that seems to have benefited right-handers Takashi Saito and Chad Billingsley.
GIANTS: Utilityman Brett Pill is scheduled to have left knee surgery today and will be sidelined for at least three weeks.
INDIANS: Right-handed reliever Frank Herrmann will miss the season after having reconstructive elbow surgery.
NATIONALS: Right-hander Stephen Strasburg will make his second opening day start against the Marlins on April 1.
PADRES: Right-hander Casey Kelly, one of the team's top prospects, returned to San Diego for tests on his sore right elbow and may be headed for elbow ligament replacement surgery.
ROYALS: Right-hander Luke Hochevar, the former No. 1 overall draft pick, is headed to the bullpen after more than five seasons in the rotation.
TIGERS: Outfielder Brennan Boesch, who tweaked an oblique muscle at the start of spring training, was released.