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Mexico defeats Venezuela 11-9, still eliminated from World Baseball Classic

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Team Mexico narrowly missed out on forcing a tiebreaker game to earn the right to advance to the next round of the World Baseball Classic. Despite defeating Team Venezuela on Sunday night 11-9, it has been eliminated. That was determined by average runs allowed per defensive inning. Mexico (1.12) trailed Venezuela (1.11). As a result, Venezuela and Italy will play a tiebreaker on Monday.

Mexico jumped out to a 5-0 lead against Venezuela in the second inning on an RBI double by Japhet Amador, a sacrifice fly by Luis Alfonso Cruz, and a three-run home run by Esteban Quiroz. Venezuela struck for a run in the bottom of the third on a Martin Prado single, but Brandon Laird extended Mexico’s lead to 8-1 in the fifth with a three-run homer of his own.

From there, it was a back-and-forth affair. Venezuela rallied for three runs in the bottom half of the fifth on an Ender Inciarte double, a Prado double, and a Miguel Cabrera single, reducing Venezuela’s deficit to 8-4. Adrian Gonzalez lifted a sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth to make it 9-4, but Venzuela struck for two in the bottom half thanks to RBI singles from Robinson Chirinos and Jose Altuve. Mexico’s Chris Roberson hit an RBI single to push it to 11-6, and Venezuela responded with three more runs in the bottom half of the seventh on a Victor Martinez two-run home run and a forced-in run when Chirinos was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Pitchers Oliver Perez and Roberto Osuna were able to get four and two outs, respectively, to hold Venezuela at bay and end the game in an 11-9 victory for Mexico.

Mexico’s first baseman, Adrian Gonzalez, isn’t happy with the results.

As mentioned, Italy and Venezuela will match up on Monday in a tiebreaker game. The winner will join Puerto Rico from Pool D and advance to the next round, Pool F, where their other opponents include the Dominican Republic and the United States. The winner of Monday’s tiebreaker will play the U.S. on Wednesday at Petco Park in San Diego.

Mets activate Travis d’Arnaud, place Tommy Milone on disabled list

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The Mets announced on Wednesday that catcher Travis d'Arnaud has been activated from the 10-day disabled list and pitcher Tommy Milone has been placed on the 10-day DL.

d’Arnaud, 28, was placed on the DL on May 5 (retroactive to May 3) with a bone bruise on his right wrist. The Mets’ backstop appeared to have suffered the injury in mid-April when he accidentally hit his hand on the bat of the opposing hitter when he was making a throw. d’Arnaud resumes with a .203/.288/.475 triple-slash line with four home runs and 16 RBI in 66 plate appearances.

Milone, 30, made three mostly forgettable starts for the Mets, yielding 15 runs (14 earned) on 19 hits and seven walks with 12 strikeouts in 12 innings. Newsday’s Marc Carig says that, with Milone out, either Rafael Montero or Josh Smoker will start on Saturday with Smoker being more likely to get the nod.

Report: John Farrell may be on the hot seat

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The Red Sox, who won the AL East last season with a 93-69 record, have under-performed so far this season, entering Wednesday’s action with just two more wins than losses at 23-21. The club hasn’t had a winning streak of more than two games since April 15-18. As a result, manager John Farrell may be on the hot seat, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Tuesday.

Beyond the mediocre record, Rosenthal cites two incidents that happened this season that caused Farrell’s stock to drop. The first was the brouhaha with the Orioles when Manny Machado slid into Dustin Pedroia at second base, causing Pedroia to suffer an injury. When reliever Matt Barnes intentionally threw a fastball at Machado, Pedroia was seen telling Machado, “It wasn’t me. It’s them.” The word “them,” of course, would ostensibly be referring to Barnes and Farrell.

The second incident happened last week when pitcher Drew Pomeranz challenged Farrell in the dugout after being removed with a pitch count of 97. Rosenthal suggests that some of Farrell’s players aren’t on the same page as the skipper.

Rosenthal also mentions that Farrell didn’t have the entire backing of the Red Sox clubhouse in 2013, when the club won the World Series. So the issues this year may not be unique; they may be part of a larger trend.

The biggest impediment in making a managerial change for the Red Sox is having a good candidate. After letting Torey Lovullo leave after last season to manage the Diamondbacks, the team’s two most likely interim candidates would be bench coach Gary DiSarcina and third base coach Brian Butterfield. DiSarcina has one year of managing experience above Single-A (Triple-A Pawtucket in 2013). Butterfield hasn’t managed in 15 years.