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USA’s title defense meets 4-0 Venezuela for spot in semis (7 p.m. ET, FOX)



Venezuela went a perfect 4-0 in highly anticipated Pool D competition in Miami, staying atop the standings against the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua and Israel.

“That was a bear of a pool,” USA manager Mark DeRosa said Friday. “So for them to go undefeated was pretty impressive. But no, [I’m] not shocked at all with the amount of talent that they have on that club. We’re fired up for the opportunity and happy to get on that plane to come here.”

“It’s just a matter of time, we thought, that the U.S. would be our rival on Saturday,” Venezuela manager Omar López said Thursday. “And every coach individually started the preparation.”

Here’s what you need to know about Saturday’s matchup:

When and where: Saturday at 7 p.m. ET at loanDepot park in Miami.

How you can watch: The game between USA and Venezuela will be live on FOX. Every game can be streamed online in the FOX Sports App. For international viewing options, click here.

How you can listen: Live audio coverage of all games will be carried on Sirius XM, TuneIn, and in the MLB App.

What’s at stake: In a single-elimination round, the winner of this quarterfinal matchup will advance to face Cuba in the semifinals on Sunday night. Venezuela most recently advanced to the semifinals in 2009 before falling to South Korea. USA advanced to the semifinals in 2017 and went on to win the entire tournament against Puerto Rico.

Matchup history: USA and Venezuela met in the second round in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. USA rallied for a three-run eighth inning — including home runs by Adam Jones and Eric Hosmer — to win, 4-2.

Salvador Perez, C, Venezuela: Perez was named Pool D MVP after he went 5-for-10 at the plate in his first three games. He drove in five runs and connected for three doubles and a home run (.500/.545/1.100) during that stretch.

Mike Trout, CF, USA: Trout powered USA to a 3-2 victory over Colombia on Wednesday. He went 3-for-4 and drove in all of USA’s runs. Trout is slashing .417/.588/.833 in his first four WBC games.

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