PHOENIX, March 9 (UPI) -- Adrian Gonzalez reached base four times and had three RBI Friday in pacing Mexico to a 5-2 World Baseball Classic victory over the United States.
Team USA was the last of 16 clubs entered in the tournament to make an appearance and the Americans fell behind early while being outhit 9-8.
The United States has games remaining against Italy and Canada in the round-robin portion of the tournament and a loss in either of them would likely mean elimination from title contention.
Mexico took a 4-0 lead through three innings and relied on solid pitching the rest of the way. The Mexicans lost their opening game in Pool D to Italy, which has a 2-0 record and has all but wrapped up a spot in the second round of the tournament.
The top two teams from the pool move on to the double-elimination phase of the event that will decide the semifinalists.
Mexico put runners on second and third in the opening inning, after which Luis Cruz produced a run on a sacrifice fly and Gonzalez delivered another with a ground out.
Gonzalez blasted a two-run homer in the third. All four of the early runs were charged to R.A. Dickey.