Eugenio Suárez hits a home run and Venezuela closes the first round undefeated

Eugenio Suárez homered, hit a pair of singles and drove in three runs, while starter Jesús Luzardo struck out five over four scoreless innings for Venezuela beat Israel 5-1 on Wednesday and close the first round of Group D of the World Baseball Classic.

The Venezuelans (4-0) had already secured first place in Group D and a ticket to the quarterfinals.

Ronald Acuna Jr. had two singles and Eduardo Escobar also disappeared for Venezuela, which had 10 hits during the afternoon at LoanDepot Park in Miami.

Venezuela wasted no time and scored three times in the first against Robert Stock to take the lead. Acuña woke up from his tournament offensive slumber — just one hit in 11 at-bats — with an RBI single and Suárez followed with a two-run single.

Escobar’s solo home run in the fourth made it 4-0. Suárez took it out to open the sixth.

Jakob Goldfarb’s RBI single in the seventh snapped Israel’s 22-inning scoreless streak. They had just lost to Puerto Rico — with a combined perfect game — and the Dominican Republic, in both cases due to the bulk run rule.

Venezuela emulated Japan as the only teams to win their first phase groups undefeated.

Israel exited with a 1-3 record after reaching the second round in the 2017 edition.

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