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Italy's Classic wins benefit Rizzo's foundation

MESA, Ariz. -- Italy's win in the World Baseball Classic benefited Anthony Rizzo's foundation.

At least five Cubs players pledged $500 each to Rizzo's foundation if Italy won at least one game in the World Baseball Classic. Italy, the underdog in Pool D, is now 2-0 after a 14-4, eight-inning win Friday over Canada.

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Rizzo went 0-for-3 on Friday, but drove in a run in the first inning on a groundout. Italy scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth, and the game was called because of mercy rule. Next up will be a meeting Saturday night against Team USA on MLB Network and ESPN Deportes at 8 p.m. CT.

If Italy advances to the second round, Rizzo may miss another week with the Cubs.

"If we lose him, he's still playing anyways," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Friday. "It's the same as if he'd be playing here."

Rizzo delivered a go-ahead two-run double in the ninth inning of Thursday's 6-5 win over Mexico.

"You don't get to have that feeling he got yesterday, the whole team, to be that big of an underdog and to win a game like that," Sveum said. "He said his second baseman said, 'Man, I'm going to have a heart attack out here.'"

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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