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Evan Longoria, centre, did not disappoint in his first full major league season. ((Chris O'Meara/Associated Press))

The United States added Tampa Bay Rays star Evan Longoria on Thursday to its roster for the World Baseball Classic semifinals on Sunday.

Longoria, the American League rookie of the year in 2008, replaces injured third baseman Chipper Jones of the Atlanta Braves.

Longoria hit 27 home runs and drove in 85 during the season for Tampa Bay, and added six homers and 13 RBIs in 16 playoff games as the Rays made it to the World Series before losing to Philadelphia.

Jones has been bothered by a strained oblique muscle and went 0-for-10 in WBC action.

The United States will take on Japan Sunday in the semifinals, with Korea and Venezuela battling on Saturday. Both games are at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.