The top tickets sold Tuesday at the Atlanta Braves’ ballpark at Walt Disney World Resort for $54.All over Florida and Arizona, teams are paying the price. Spring training attendance is off and several things are to blame, aside from pricey tickets – early start, cold weather and lineups depleted by injured stars and players dispatched to the World Baseball Classic.The dip is nearly 14 percent lower than it was on this date last year, STATS said.Games started about a week earlier this season because players wanted to get in shape for the World Baseball Classic. That meant games were scheduled before many fans arrived for vacation and spring break. By the end of February, several teams had already played for a week.“I think we started about eight or nine days too early. That means a whole lot,” Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said.The weather hasn’t been ideal, either – a freak winter storm out West and a cold snap down South.Normally a big draw wherever they go, the Yankees played to a crowd of 3,213 when they visited the Houston Astros. Then again, the glitziest name in New York’s split-squad lineup that day was Matt Diaz.The Orioles often sold out home games versus the likes of the Yankees, Boston and Philadelphia. Not this year in Sarasota, Fla.Big league exhibitions began on Feb. 22 and averaged 5,789 fans through March 12. They started on March 2 last year and averaged 6,703 by that same date, with several teams on their way to setting attendance records.It costs more than $25 for a good seat at most spring parks. Several teams vary their prices depending on the opponent or the day – a ticket behind the third base dugout to see the World Series champion Giants host Colorado this Sunday sold for $68.75 on San Francisco’s online site.WBC U.S. prepares for Dominicans: Gio Gonzalez gave Team USA its best start yet, and David Wright drive in five runs, the last three with a bases-laoded double. Gonzalez pitched five scoreless innings and the Americans beat Puerto Rico 7-1 in the World Baseball Classic on Tuesday night. The United States fell behind in all three games in the opening round, but led from the first inning against Puerto Rico. The Americans will play Thursday night against the Dominican Republic, which remained unbeaten in the WBC by rallying past Italy 5-4 on Tuesday on a two-out RBI single by Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz in the seventh inning.“It's a marquee matchup,” U.S. manager Joe Torre said. “They haven't lost. They've got some guys having some fun. They have a lot of confidence. But I feel good about my team.” • Puerto Rico 4, Italy 3: Alex Rios scored the go-ahead run from second without a play in the eighth inning, and the Puerto Ricans rallied from a 3-0 deficit to oust Italy. Rios crossed the plate standing up for the final run on a grounder to shortstop. The Puerto Ricans will play the U.S.-Dominican Republic winner on Friday.Briefly• Tigers: Miguel Cabrera homered on the first pitch he saw since returning from the World Baseball Classic and Detroit beat Florida Southern 11-0. Cabrera, who batted .333 with a homer for Venezuela in the WBC, connected in his only at-bat against the Division II school. Anibal Sanchez struck out six in four hitless innings for the Tigers in his first outing since Venezuela was eliminated in the first round of the tournament. ... OF Brennan Boesch was released. The 27-year-old tweaked an oblique muscle at the start of spring training and was hitting .188 (3 for 16) with no RBIs. Andy Dirks and Quintin Berry have been competing for time in left field. Detroit signed Torii Hunter during the offseason to play right field.• Nationals: Stephen Strasburg will make his second Opening Day start for the Washington Nationals at home against the Miami Marlins on April 1. There is no innings restriction planned for Strasburg this season. ... Bryce Harper hit a three-run homer off Matt Harvey in the first inning and added an RBI single in the seventh, leading a Washington split squad to an 8-5 victory over the Mets.• Royals: Former No. 1 overall draft pick Luke Hochevar was sent to the bullpen after more than five seasons of shaky results in the starting rotation. Manager Ned Yost announced the decision Wednesday. Hochevar had been competing with Bruce Chen, Will Smith and Luis Mendoza for the fifth spot in the Royals’ revamped rotation his spring. Hochevar, who is scheduled to make $4.56 million this season, is 38-59 with a 5.39 ERA. He’ll operate as a long reliever and could work back into the rotation, though it’s possible the Royals will seek to trade him or offer his release. The Royals also placed right-hander Guillermo Moscoso, a former Rangers pitcher, on waivers Wednesday. He was claimed in November and was 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in three spring training appearance.• Brewers: OF Carlos Gomez (19 homers, 37 steals, .260 average) has agreed to a $28.3 million, four-year contract. The 27-year-old outfielder would have been eligible for free agency after this season. He had agreed to a $4.3 million, one-year deal in January, and the new contract includes salaries of $7 million in 2014, $8 million in 2015 and $9 million in 2016. • Astros: Erik Bedard gave up a leadoff double and a walk then struck out three straight in his first outing in two weeks, but Houstonlost to a Washington split squad 9-7. Bedard hadn't pitched since Feb. 26, when he strained a glut muscle.