R. A. Dickey pitched for the United States at the 1996 Olympics, winning both his starts. Yet he left with a bronze medal and a lingering sense of what could have been.

“It was really bittersweet in the sense that I was hoping to play Cuba and beat Cuba for a gold medal, and we never even got to the game,” Dickey said here Thursday, a day before his start at the World Baseball Classic. “So it was tough. And this is a chance to redeem that in some way.”

His shot at redemption went awry on Friday at Chase Field. Dickey was hit hard over four innings against Mexico, dooming the United States to a 5-2 loss and an uncomfortable urgency in the tournament.