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Venezuela, already out, beats Spain at World Baseball Classic

Venezuela's Pablo Sandoval celebrates with Carlos Gonzales #5

Venezuela's Pablo Sandoval celebrates with Carlos Gonzales #5 after hitting a home run against Spain during the first round of the World Baseball Classic at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (March 10, 2013) Photo Credit: Getty

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Venezuela broke out the bats too late.

Miguel Cabrera and Pablo Sandoval hit consecutive home runs Sunday in an 11-6 victory over Spain that came too late to matter at the World Baseball Classic.

Venezuela, which finished 1-2 in Group C, was eliminated from the competition Saturday night with a 6-3 loss to Puerto Rico. So the win over Spain (0-3) was of little consolation to the South American team that was loaded with major league All-Stars and had been considered a top contender.

"It is not a secret, things did not go well for us offensively," said Colorado Rockies slugger Carlos Gonzalez, who had two hits and scored twice. "That's why today we are packing."

Venezuela had more hits Sunday (16) than in its first two games combined. Cabrera went 3 for 5 with three RBIs and scored three runs. Omar Infante also had three hits and Elvis Andrus knocked in two runs.

Cabrera and Sandoval connected in the eighth inning.

Venezuela also lost its opener to the Dominican Republic, 9-3. The star-studded lineup finally got rolling Sunday, but it was too late.

Spain started strong, scoring three runs in the first inning, but Venezuela had seven hits and six runs in a big fourth inning that included a two-run single by Andrus. All the runs scored with two outs.

"We started well today, contrary to the other times. But we have to play throughout the game," Spain manager Mauro Mazzotti said. "The rules of baseball say that you have to avoid a big inning, and we had one with two outs, with six runs. That killed the chances for us."

Starting pitcher Ramon Ramirez got the win for Venezuela. He allowed three runs, four hits and struck out four in four innings.

Still, the Venezuelan team was understandably disappointed with its overall performance. The club did not make it past the first round for the first time in three editions of the WBC.

"We did not play well," Gonzalez said. "We did not seize the opportunities or create opportunities for ourselves."

The Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico played later Sunday to determine the winner of Group C. Both teams are headed to the next round in Miami.

New York Sports