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Rizzo regrets Classic loss, upbeat about experience

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Anthony Rizzo will return to the Cubs' lineup Saturday after missing time due to the World Baseball Classic. Rizzo and Team Italy were eliminated from the Classic on Wednesday, losing, 4-3, to Puerto Rico.

Cubs manager Dale Sveum told his first baseman to take advantage of his day in Miami and be with his family. The two talked after the game.

"He was obviously down about losing, but he also was very upbeat about the experience he got to have and the emotions that he probably hasn't been part of yet in pro ball," Sveum said. "It was a great experience for him. He was real excited, but obviously a little down at the same time. I think he's looking forward to getting back here. I told him to spend the day with his family in Florida and be ready to go [Friday]."

Rizzo drove in all of Italy's runs on Wednesday with a three-run double in the fifth, but Puerto Rico rallied. The Italian team was an underdog, and not expected to advance to the second round.

"It's an experience that you can't replace, whether it's the Olympics or a playoff run," Sveum said. "You get in the playoffs and World Series, those are emotions and excitement that you wish everybody could have once in their life. He got to be a part of it, because they were such underdogs and to play so well and be so close, it had to be a big rush every day."

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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