He was nearly matched by his Mariners rotation mate Drew Smyly, who gave up just one unearned run after he made a bad throw to first base on a dribbler.
The tension at Petco Park was even more palpable in the sixth when Venezuela manager called on a 21-year-old pitcher who'd never pitched above A-ball to get out of a one-out, first-and-second jam. They saw Adam Jones ground into an inning-ending double play to end a threat in the third and were later gifted two big-time scoring situations, only to see just one run cross the plate on a sac fly.
Odor's home run off David Robertson extended the Venezuelan lead to 2-0, and he remained the center of the action in the bottom half of the inning at the hot corner. But Hosmer went to third on the first one and scored on the Lucroy fly. The eighth inning would be the money frame, though.
Trailing 2-1 through seven, Jones led off the eighth with a home run to left-center field off Hector Rondon to tie the game. That was followed by a Christian Yelich single. Rondon then retired Arenado on a fly to right, but Hosmer connected on a line-drive home run to right-center field to give the U.S. a 4-2 lead.
Because Smyly was more than up to the challenge laid down by a starting staff that compiled 14 strikeouts, five hits allowed and no walks over 12 2/3 innings coming into Wednesday's game.
Venezuela, which thought it was eliminated with a loss late Sunday, took advantage of its new life Monday in Guadalajara, Mexico, with a three-run ninth inning to beat Italy 4-3 and advance to the second round of the World Baseball Classic.
Team USA starts the second round with a 1-0 record, which is pretty big considering they play surging Puerto Rico on Friday and the Dominican Republic on Saturday. The victor of that game will be guaranteed to at least make the group tiebreaker game and will most likely qualify for the next round.
Venezuela will face the United States on Wednesday in San Diego.