Team USA Has A Hit-Fest Against Colombia

Team USA� 13,� Colombia� 6

Team USA recorded 19 hits on their way to 13 runs as they ran over Colombia.� SS Chase d’Arnaud collected 3 of the hits, with one RBI, and C Erik Kratz and DH Brad Eldred (Rockies) had 2 hits each.� Team USA got going with a big 7-run 3rd inning.� 2B Brian Barden (Marlins) opened the inning with a double into left center field.� D’Arnaud grounded to second base, moving Barden to third.� RF Brett Jackson (Cubs) and CF Mike Trout (Angels) both walked, loading the bases.� 3B Mike Moustakas (Royals) drove in two runs (Barden and Jackson) with a single that slipped into right field.� Brad Eldred added a run with another RBI single that brought in Trout.� 1B Eric Hosmer (Royals) also singled, plating Moustakas.� Then LF Jamie Hoffman (Dodgers) tripled into right center, scoring both Eldred and Hosmer.� Hoffman scored when Kratz grounded to short, and the Americans had a 7-0 lead.

Colombia scored 2 runs in the bottom of the 3rd, on a walk, a triple, and an RBI ground out.� Team USA countered by scoring in the next 4 innings.� D’Arnaud singled to lead off the 4th inning, moved to second base on an error, to third on a ground out, and then scored on Trout’s double.� Kratz picked up an RBI with his double in the 5th, and d’Arnaud’s single drove in Kratz.� Doubles by both Trout and Moustakas added another run in the 6th.� D’Arnaud scored again in the 7th, when he doubled and LF Todd Frazier (Reds) brought him across the plate with a single.� Trout collected another RBI with a single that scored Frazier.

Mike Montgomery made the start for Team USA, earning the win with 5 innings of work.� He gave up the 2 runs in the third innings on a total of 5 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 6 batters.� Andre Lamontagne pitched 2 innings in relief.� He gave up Colombia’s other 4 runs (one earned), all in the 6th inning.� An error put the first runner on base, then a double, a single, another double, and another error brought in the runs.� Bruce Billings finished the game by retiring the side in order in the 8th and 9th innings.

Also playing:

Canada�� 13,� Argentina� 2 –� Starting pitcher Mike Johnson gave his bullpen a rest by pitching 7 innings and allowing only 2 runs on 10 hits, no walks, with 5 strikeouts.� The Canadians scored in 5 of the 7 innings, including a 6-run 6th inning.� The final stroke was a 2-run home run by RF Adam Loewen (Blue Jays) in the bottom of the 7th, which gave the Canadians the greater-than-10-run lead that ended the game early.

Puerto Rico� 7,� Panama� 6 — 3B Ramon Vasquez scored 3 of Puerto Rico’s runs, though he had only one hit — he also was hit by a pitch.� Former Indy Indian SS Luis Figueroa had 2 hits and an RBI.� Puerto Rico scored 4 runs in the 2nd inning, but Panama caught up with 3 runs in the 4th, and had a 6-5 lead going into the top of the 9th.� That was when Puerto Rico scored 2 more runs to take the win.

Other news:

Pedro Alvarez, last week’s Player of the Week, is now also the September Rookie of the Month for the National League.� The former Indy Indian hit .311 in September, with 10 doubles, 5 homers, and 26 RBI.

The Arizona Fall League begins play next week.� Also starting play on Tuesday of next week:� The Mexican Pacific League and the Venezuelan Winter League.� The Dominican and Puerto Rican Leagues begin play on October 22nd.� Pirates’ farmhand Rogelios Noris is slated to join his hometown Venados de Mazatlan.

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Team USA Demolishes Aruba; Boleska Struggles For Team Canada

Team USA� 14,� Aruba� 0

Four USA pitchers combined on a one-hit shutout of Team Aruba in this evening’s Pan-Am Tournament.� Everett Teaford (Royals) made the start and faced only one batter over the minimum — he gave up a single to Aruba’s LF Christian Diaz to open the game.� The next two batters struck out, and the first inning ended with a fielder’s choice grounder that had Diaz out at first base.� Teaford retired the next 12 batters he faced, including 10 strikeouts.� He struck out the side in the 5th inning.� Bryan Henry (Diamondbacks) relieved Teaford for the 6th inning, and Henry struck out two batters then got a ground out to end the inning.� Anthony Carter (White Sox) retired the first two batters in the top of the 7th, then Nick Hill (Mariners) came in from the bullpen to get the last out of the inning.

The American bats were quiet for the first two innings, but things got going in the bottom of the 3rd.� RF Jamie Hoffmann (Dodgers) singled to lead off the inning, then SS Brian Barden (Marlins) put Team USA onto the scoreboard with a 2-run homer.� Moments later, 3B Mike Moustakas (Royals) added another home run, to give the USA a 3-0 lead.

A walk by C Jordan Pacheco (Rockies), a single by Hoffmann, and a fielder’s choice on a grounder by Barden made it 4-0 in the 4th inning.� Then Team USA broke things wide open in the 5th.� With one out, 1B Eric Hosmer (Royals) and LF Todd Frazier (Reds) both walked.� After a pitching change and a fly out, an error on a pick-off throw to first put Frazier on second and let Hosmer come around to score.� Hoffmann walked, then another error at shortstop on a ball hit by Barden loaded the bases.� CF Brett Jackson’s (Cubs) single scored Hoffman and Frazier.� 2B Cord Phelps (Cleveland Indians) singled, driving in Barden.� Jackson advanced to third base on Phelps’ single, and when the Aruba pitcher balked, Jackson scored.� Phelps scored from second base on Moustakas’ single.� DH Brad Eldred (Rockies) also singled, and Hosmer loaded the bases with his second walk of the inning.� A fly out ended the inning with the bases still loaded, but Team USA had scored 6 runs, and had a 10-0 lead.

And it wasn’t over yet.� Pacheco walked again to open the bottom of the 6th.� Four straight singles, by Hoffmann, Barden, Jackson, and Phelps brought in 3 runs, then a ground out by Moustakas drove in Jackson with the fourth run of the inning.� That gave Team USA a 14-run lead.� Aruba got one more chance in the top of the 7th, and went down in order, and with the international rules (they don’t like the term “mercy rules”) that ended the game.

Pirates’ Erik Kratz and Chase d’Arnaud did not get into this game.

Also on Sunday:

Venezuela� 5,� Canada� 3 –� Canada scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the 1st, then didn’t score again until C Cole Armstrong (White Sox) smacked a solo home run in the bottom of the 9th.� RF Jamie Romak had one hit in four trips to the plate.� Tom Boleska pitched 2 innings for Canada, and allowed 2 runs on 2 hits and a walk in the 4th inning.� Dave Davidson followed Boleska, but he also allowed 2 of Venezuela’s 3 runs in the 6th, on 2 hits and 2 walks.� Davidson was charged with the loss.

Dominican Republic� 3,� Puerto Rico� 2 –� This one took 13 innings, and that was with the international rules that start the extra innings with runners already on base.� 2B/3B Ramon Vasquez went 0-for-2 at the plate and was hit by a pitch.� SS Luis Figueroa drove in one of the Puerto Rican runs with a sacrifice fly.

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Team USA Takes First Tournament Game

Team USA� 7,� Puerto Rico� 4

Team USA opened the Pan-Am tournament with a win over host Puerto Rico in Ponce on Saturday evening.� (USA was the home team for the game.)

Team USA got onto the scoreboard first, with 4 runs in the bottom of the 2nd inning.� DH Brad Eldred (Rockies) opened the inning with a triple into left center field.� 1B Eric Hosmer (Royals) walked, and LF Todd Frazier (Reds/Louisville Bats), another name familiar to Indy Indians’ fans, brought them both in with a 3-run home run.� CF Mike Trout (Angels) added the fourth run when he tripled, then scored on an error by the Puerto Rican SS Luis Figueroa (probably the same Luis Figueroa who played for the Indy Indians in 2004).

Puerto Rico got one run back in the 4th.� RF Jorge Padilla led off with a single, and moved to second base when 1B Naftali Soto was hit by a pitch.� A fielder’s choice put Padilla on third, and he scored on DH Gabriel Martinez’s RBI single.

The Puerto Ricans came within one run in the top of the 6th.� Padilla began with a walk, then after two outs, Martinez singled again, advancing Padilla to third base.� C Martin Maldonado singled, which drove in Padilla, then an error by CF Trout let Martinez score also.� Tim Collins (Royals)� came on to relieve starter (former Pirate farmhand) Todd Redmond (Braves) and Collins ended the inning with a pop out.� Redmond had pitched 5.2 innings and allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits and a walk with 4 strikeouts.

Team USA responded with 3 more runs in the bottom of the inning.� Todd Frazier and C Erik Kratz opened the frame with back-to-back singles, and Trout’s ground out pushed them both into scoring position.� RF Brett Jackson (Cubs) hit the second 3-run home run of the game, and Team USA had a 7-3 lead.

Puerto Rico made one last attempt to rally in the top of the 9th.� They loaded the bases with a hit batter (2B Irving Falu), a single by another former Pirate, 3B Ramon Vasquez (now with the Mariners), and an error that let Figueroa reach base.� Padilla grounded to second base, but there was only time to get the out at first, so Falu scored.� Another ground out ended the inning and Team USA had the win.

Doubles were popular among Pirates’ and former Pirates’ hitters.� Brad Eldred doubled in the 3rd, but was left on base.� SS Chase d’Arnaud doubled in the 4th, and advanced to third when Jackson singled, but he was left standing on third base.� Erik Kratz doubled in the 8th inning, and he was also left stranded.

In other games:

Team Canada won their first game also, beating Nicaragua 7-6, but they had to battle both the rain and Nicaragua’s comebacks. Canada took a 3-run lead in the 2nd inning, including an RBI double by RF Jamie Romak. Nicaragua scored one run in the bottom of the 4th, and Romak got the run right back for Canada in the top of the 5th with a solo home run.� Then Nicaragua scored single runs in both the bottom of the 5th and the 6th (a solo home run), to make it a one-run game at 4-3.� Canada scored 2 runs in the top of the 7th, when SS Jonathan Malo (Mets) tripled, then scored on 2B Pete Orr’s (Nationals) single.� Nicaragua tied the score with 3 runs in the bottom of the 8th on a bases-loaded double.� But Malo and Orr came through in the top of the 9th — a bunt single by Malo, a single by CF Adam Stern (Brewers), and an RBI single by Orr gave Canada the lead and the win.

On Friday night, Puerto Rico beat Aruba by a score of 12 – 0.� Only 7 innings were played — remember that in international baseball, there are “mercy rules”, and after 7 innings, the Puerto Ricans were ahead by more than 10 runs.� The Aruba pitchers walked 9 batters and gave up 11 hits in those 7 innings.� 3B Ramon Vasquez scored twice and was 0-for-1 in official plate appearances.� SS Luis Figueroa made another error but als had a hit and an RBI.

**

Just over a week until the Arizona Fall League begins play.

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Kratz and D’Arnaud Head to Puerto Rico With Team USA

Pirates’ minor leaguers C Erik Kratz and INF Chase d’Arnaud are off to Puerto Rico with Team USA for the Pan American Games Tournament.� The tournament is run by COPABE (Confederacion Panamericana de Beisbol) and is a World Cup qualifying tournament.� Team USA will be practicing at Roberto Clemente Stadium (a good omen for Pirates’ minor leaguers) in Carolina, PR today, then at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan tomorrow (Friday).� Their first tournament game will be on Oct 2nd (Sat.), as the Americans face Puerto Rico in Ponce.� Team USA is also scheduled to play Aruba, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Panama in the first round of the tournament.

D’Arnaud was a recent addition to the Team USA roster, just this week, as Andrew Romine joined the Angels’ active roster.� Kratz was also not on the original team, but joined last week when Brian Jeroloman (Blue Jays) was removed from the roster.

Former Pirate Brad Eldred, now in the Rockies’ organization, is also a member of Team USA, as well as former Pirate farmhand Todd Redmond, now with the Braves.

Team Canada has been working out with Team USA in North Carolina, though the Canadians are in a different group for the first round of the tournament.� Pirate farmhand RHP Tom Boleska (Altoona) will be pitching for Canada.� Two former Pirates farmhands will join him — LHP Dave Davidson and OF Jamie Romak.� Another familiar face will be in the third base coaching box:� former Altoona manager Tim Leiper.

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