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Italy 2-0 at World Baseball Classic

PHOENIX — Mercy, look who's off to a 2-0 start at the World Baseball Classic.

Italy, which had never won more than a game in either of the two previous Classics, followed its come-from-behind win over Mexico on Thursday with a 14-4 thumping of Canada on Friday to go to 2-0 in Group D play.

Chris Colabello drove in four runs with four hits, including a three-run homer. The game was called under the tournament's "mercy rule" after Italy scored five times in the eighth to make it a 10-run game.

Italy plays tonight against the United States, which played Mexico late Friday.

"We knew we were going to do well," manager Marco Mazzieri said. "How well? We couldn't tell. But we prepared to do well."

In other games, Carlos Beltran's RBI double keyed a three-run first and three Puerto Rico pitchers combined on a five-hitter in a 3-0 victory over visiting Spain in the opener for both clubs.

Sho Tanaka hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th to drive in the go-ahead run and lift defending champion and host Japan over Taiwan 4-3 in the second round.

Cardinals: First baseman Allen Craig, the 28-year-old who was sixth in the NL last season with a .307 average, 22 homers and 92 RBIs, agreed to a five-year, $31 million contract that could be worth $43 million over six seasons with the club option.

Mets: Pitching prospect Jenrry Mejia, 23, can resume baseball activities after being diagnosed with a hyperactive thyroid gland. Doctors told him not to eat seafood, which is rich in iodine.

Nationals: Manager Davey Johnson said right-hander Jordan Zimmermann may be dealing with a "dead arm" after allowing eight runs and nine hits in three innings during a 16-10 loss to the Cardinals. He has given up 13 runs and 16 hits over nine innings in three spring starts. "I think about this time of spring training all pitchers go through a little dead arm," Johnson said. "He got a little treatment afterward. Nothing I need to worry about."

Royals: Right-hander Wade Davis, acquired from the Rays, has shoulder soreness and has been scratched from today's start.

. Fast facts

World Baseball Classic

Friday'S RESULTS

Japan 4, Taiwan 3, 10 innings

Italy 14, Canada 4, 8 innings

Puerto Rico 3, Spain 0

Mexico vs. United States, late

Today's games

Cuba vs. Taiwan, 5 a.m. (Tokyo)

Dominican Republic vs. Spain, 11 a.m. (Puerto Rico)

Canada vs. Mexico, 2:30 p.m. (Phoenix)

Puerto Rico vs. Venezuela, 5:30 (Puerto Rico)

United States vs. Italy, 9 (Phoenix)

Classic Rays

C Jose Molina, Puerto Rico

LHP Cesar Ramos, Mexico

RHP Fernando Rodney, Dominican Republic

LHP Alex Torres, Venezuela

INF/OF Ben Zobrist, United States

Italy 2-0 at World Baseball Classic 03/08/13 [Last modified: Saturday, March 9, 2013 12:12am]

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