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Mexico eyes revenge vs. Italy in WBC 2017

MLB.com

The World Baseball Classic returns to Mexico on Thursday night as Pool D begins play with host Mexico facing Italy.

First pitch is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET at Estadio Charros de Jalisco, with Mexico's Yovani Gallardo getting the start against Italy's Alessandro Maestri.

The World Baseball Classic returns to Mexico on Thursday night as Pool D begins play with host Mexico facing Italy.

First pitch is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET at Estadio Charros de Jalisco, with Mexico's Yovani Gallardo getting the start against Italy's Alessandro Maestri.

:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::

The World Baseball Classic runs through March 22. In the U.S., games air live exclusively in English on MLB Network and on an authenticated basis via MLBNetwork.com/watch, while ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN provide the exclusive Spanish-language coverage. MLB.TV Premium subscribers in the U.S. have access to watch every tournament game live on any of the streaming service's 400-plus supported devices. The tournament is being distributed internationally across all forms of television, internet, mobile and radio in territories excluding the U.S., Puerto Rico and Japan. Get tickets for games at Marlins Park, Tokyo Dome, Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Mexico, Petco Park, as well as the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, while complete coverage -- including schedules, video, stats and gear -- is available at WorldBaseballClassic.com.

Team Mexico is looking for revenge after a disappointing first-round exit in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, which included a loss to Italy. It is the only time Mexico hasn't advanced out of the first round of the World Baseball Classic.

Italy is looking to build off its surprise second-round run in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Three things to know about this game

• Mexican shortstop Luis Urias, who is the Padres' No. 7 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com and is just 19 years old, once put Adrian Gonzalez and Sergio Romo on the same team while playing "MLB: The Show" on PlayStation. Now, the three are teammates in real life for Mexico.

• Five of the seven members of Italy's coaching staff played in the Major Leagues: Sal Butera, Frank Catalanotto, Sal Fasano, Nick Punto and Brian Sweeney.

• Although the Italians are without Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo from their last World Baseball Classic squad, they have two solid Major League catchers in Drew Butera and Francisco Cervelli, who are each making their second World Baseball Classic appearance.

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com.

Mexico, Italy