World Baseball Classic: Mauer just trying to 'put together good at-bats'

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Joe Mauer got the scoring started Tuesday in Team USA's 7-1 win over Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, as he drove in Ryan Braun with a first-inning double to the center field wall.

David Wright was the big bat in the lineup, though, knocking in five runs.

Batting cleanup, Mauer says he's just "trying to put together good at-bats in the tournament."

So far, so good, as Mauer is 6-for-14, hitting .429 through four games.

Up next: USA vs. the undefeated Dominican Republic, with the winner earning a spot in the WBC semifinals. On the hill against Team USA, Twins pitcher Samuel Deduno, who threw four shutout innings Saturday in a win against Spain.

Mauer is joined by Twins' reliever Glen Perkins on Team USA. Not a bad showing for two Minnesota kids who also played together for the Metro East All-Stars 12 years ago. Here's that photo, forwarded by Perkins on his Twitter account:

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