Adam Jones and Eric Hosmer each hit homers in a three-run eighth inning as the US team rallied for a 4-2 victory over Venezuela in the second round of the World Baseball Classic.
Jones sparked the late rally with a game-tying leadoff home run in the eighth, while three batters later Hosmer blasted a two-run homer that lifted the Americans to victory in the second round opener for both teams.
"Tip our caps to our pitchers and hitters for grinding this one out. United we grind," said Jones.
Team USA also had to overcome a 2-0 deficit in their first game of the tournament against lightly-regarded Colombia. In that encounter Jones hit a walk-off single to win the game.
The Americans are tied with Puerto Rico atop the Pool F standings with a 1-0 record. The Dominican Republic and Venezuela are both 0-1.
The next game for the US team is Friday against Puerto Rico, while Venezuela has a must-win game Thursday against the mighty Dominicans.
The 16-team competition concludes with the final at Dodger Stadium next Wednesday.
Team USA is without its best pitcher Clayton Kershaw and MLB MVPs center fielder Mike Trout and third baseman Kris Bryant, who all decided to skip the event.
Despite the absence of many stars the Americans are still able to field a solid lineup. That's because there are about 620 Americans playing in Major League Baseball compared to just 60 for Venezuela.
Venezuela were fresh off barely surviving a tiebreaker game against Italy.
"We won a game against an unbelievable lineup," USA manager Jim Leyland said.
"We're going to come back and play Friday against a team that's been really, really playing good. So it doesn't get any easier. All these teams that are here now are outstanding teams."
Jones belted his solo shot off Venezuelan relief pitcher Hector Rondon.
"I think Jones really got us going, and then we cashed in on a big one by a world champion, obviously," Leyland said. "It was a great game.
"I know that's easy for us to say; we won the game. But it was. It was a great game."