Team USA Beats Australia In Pitching Duel
USA 2, Australia 1
US starter Drew Smyly (Tigers) and Australian starter Clayton Tanner dueled through 5 scoreless innings this afternoon in World Cup/Pan Am tournament play. Tanner allowed Team USA 4 hits scattered over the first 5 innings, while Smyly gave the Australians 4 hits in return. Australia had 2 batters on base in the 4th after a pair of 2-out singles, but a grounder force out at second base ended the inning. Jeff Beliveau (Cubs) relieved Smyly to begin the top of the 6th, and he also kept the Australians scoreless with a 1-2-3 inning.
Finally in the bottom of the 6th, Team USA cracked the scoreboard with two unearned runs. CF AJ Pollock (Diamondbacks) led off by reaching on a fielding error at third base. A sacrifice bunt moved Pollock to second base, then scored with singles by Pirates’ SS Jordy Mercer and 2B Joe Thurston (Marlins). Mercer advanced to third base on the throw in to the plate, then scored on 1B Chad Tracy’s (Rangers) sacrifice fly, to give Team USA a 2-0 lead.
Beliveau was back on the mound for the US to begin the top of the 7th. He struck out the first batter, then gave up a double down the left field line. Scott Patterson (Mariners) relieved Beliveau, but gave up an RBI single, to cut the US lead to 2-1. The game ended when Patterson got the next batter to line out to first, where Tracy stepped onto the bag for the double play.
This was a 7-inning game — possibly because the Australian team had another game to follow. They lost to the Netherlands by the same score, 2-1. The double headers are making up for rain-postponed games from Wednesday. Team USA has two games on Friday –facing South Korea at 11 am, then against Venezuela at 3:30 pm.