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High-five: Wright's big night paces Team USA

High-five: Wright's big night paces Team USA play video for High-five: Wright's big night paces Team USA

MIAMI -- With a chorus of "USA! USA!" chants reverberating through Marlins Park on Tuesday night, David Wright gave Team USA plenty to cheer about.

Continuing to stay hot, Wright came up big.

Wright delivered a back-breaking three-run double in the eighth inning, capping his five-RBI night in Team USA's 7-1 victory over Puerto Rico in Round 2 of the World Baseball Classic.

Playing for high stakes in March comes around every few years, courtesy of the Classic. It's still an adjustment for many who are getting used to the format. Wright's experienced the tournament's highs and lows before.

For the All-Star third baseman, a chance to bring a championship to the United States is all the motivation he needs.

"Obviously, it's nice to get hits," Wright said. "It's nice to drive runs in, but the important thing is obviously hearing those USA chants and getting a chance to win games and high-five afterwards."

After a five-RBI night, Wright boosted his total to 10 in the tournament. Counting 2009, he has 15 RBIs in his career in the Classic.

"The individual stuff is nice," he said. "But ultimately, it's about winning that first WBC championship for the United States."

Team USA is starting to find its stride. It's coming at a good time, because on Thursday (7 ET live on MLB Network and ESPN Deportes), it will face an inspired Dominican Republic squad, which beat Italy, 5-4.

Like the United States, the Dominican Republic is loaded with big league All-Stars. Both countries are on a mission to win their first Classic title.

Wright provided momentum for his team against a talented Puerto Rican squad.

The Team USA record for RBIs in a Classic game was set by Ken Griffey Jr. (seven) in 2006 against South Africa.

In the first four games, Wright has come up with some of Team USA's biggest hits. His grand slam against Italy last Saturday in Phoenix helped the team rebound after an opening loss to Mexico.

Wright was locked in again on Tuesday night.

His three-run double off Xavier Cedeno in the eighth inning broke open a six-run lead.

The double was a drive to right-center that carried just out of reach of a diving Angel Pagan.

"That was a great pitch from Xavier Cedeno," Puerto Rico manager Edwin Rodriguez said. "If he throws that pitch nine out of 10 times, he's going to get people out. Give David Wright credit."

In the third inning, Wright collected an RBI fielder's-choice grounder to shortstop. And he sliced a run-scoring single in the fifth inning, which put Team USA in front, 3-0.

The spotlight is finding Wright now. But he is quick to remind that he is benefiting from being in a lineup loaded with stars. He batted fifth on Tuesday, behind Joe Mauer, and in front of Eric Hosmer.

"Obviously, the adrenaline gets pumping for this tournament," Wright said. "You wear that uniform, and as I mentioned before, you want to go out there and represent your country.

"I'm not lying when I say that hitting in this lineup is ridiculous. I mean, you've got some of the best hitters in the game, and it creates a lot of matchup problems, especially late in the game."

Wright thanked manager Joe Torre for putting him between two left-handed hitters. That set up facing a lefty reliever in Cedeno.

"Like I said, things just start rolling," Wright said.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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