USA Defeats Cuba

Team USA� 4,� Cuba� 1

Cubs’ farmhand Chris Archer pitched an amazing 6 innings for Team USA as they continued their winning ways in the last pool game of the Pan American tournament with a win over Cuba.� Team USA will enter the semi-final round of the tournament with a perfect 9-0 record, while Cuba drops to 7-2.

Archer’s 10 strikeouts kept the Cuban batters stymied for 6 innings.� They managed only 2 hits — a double in the 2nd inning, and a single to lead off the top of the 4th.� Archer did not walk any batters, facing just 2 over the minimum.

Team USA had only one hit over the first two innings — a single by DH Brad Eldred (Rockies) to lead off the 2nd inning.�� Eldred reached second base, but was left stranded.� The USA got onto the scoreboard in the 3rd inning.� With one out, SS Brian Barden (Marlins) beat out a grounder to short for an infield single.� CF Mike Trout (Angels) singled up the middle, pushing Barden to second base.� After a pop out, 3B Mike Moustakas (Royals) doubled down the left field line.� Barden scored easily from second base, and Trout raced around from first to score also, giving the USA a 2-0 lead.

The USA threatened again in the 4th, when 1B Eric Hosmer (Royals) led off with a single, but was thrown out at second when he tried to stretch it.� If Hosmer had held at first, he might have been able to score on LF Todd Frazier’s (Reds) double.� Frazier was subsequently tagged out at third base when RF Jamie Hoffmann (Dodgers) grounded right to the third baseman.

An error by the Cubans led to two unearned runs for Team USA in the 6th.� Moustakas opened the inning with a walk, and Eldred singled, moving Moustakas to second base.� The Cubans brought in a new pitcher, but that didn’t help.� Hosmer reached base on an error by the Cuban first baseman, as Moustakas scored on the error.� Eldred rounded third and headed for the plate, but by that time, the Cubans had the ball back under control, and Eldred was out at the plate.� Hosmer ended up on third base, and moments later, he scored on a wild pitch.� Frazier kept the inning going with a single.� C Erik Kratz reached base on a fielder’s choice, though Frazier was out at second base.� Kratz was also forced out at second base on the next play, ending the inning.

Nick Hill (Mariners) relieved Archer to begin the 7th inning.� He gave up a pair of 2-out singles, but got a strikeout to end the 7th inning.� He also struck out the first two batters he faced in the 8th, but then gave up a run on a single and a triple.�� Anthony Carter (White Sox) took over for Hill, and got a fly out to end the 8th.� Carter worked around a double in the 9th inning to keep the Cubans from scoring again.

Pirates’ farmhand Chase d’Arnaud did not get into this game.� Kratz went 0-for-3 at the plate, and Eldred was 2-for-4.

Team USA now continues on to the semi-finals as the #1 seed.� They will play the Dominican Republic on Tuesday at 7:30 pm.� Cuba and Venezuela are the other two teams to reach the semi-final round.� Cuba has a 5-1 record in round two, the Dominicans have a 4-2 record, while Venezuela is fourth with a 3-3 record.

Also on Monday:

Canada 14,� Puerto Rico� 6 — The Canadians had a hit-fest at the expense of Puerto Rico, posting 14 hits and two 5-run innings.� Former Pirate farmhand RF Jamie Romak went 2-for-3 with 5 RBI — he doubled and hit a 3-run homer in the 8th.� Three other Canadians also homered:� CF Adam Stern (Brewers), C Chris Robinson (Cubs), and 1B Scott Thorman (Royals).� Robinson had 5 hits and 3 RBI in the game. � Former Pirate 3B Ramon Vasquez had 2 hits for Puerto Rico, and former Indy Indian SS Luis Figueroa had one hit.� Pirate farmhand Tom Boleska pitched 1.1 inning and gave up only one hit.

Team Canada is done for this tournament, but they have qualified to play in next year’s Pan Am tournament and also in the World Baseball Cup.

Also on Tuesday:� the opening of the Arizona Fall League and two of the Caribbean Winter Leagues — the Mexican Pacific and the Venezuelan Leagues.

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Homers Lift Team USA Over Canada

Team USA� 4,� Canada� 0

Team USA made quick work of Team Canada this afternoon in San Juan, Puerto Rico, extending their record to 8-0 in the Pan American Tournament.� Canada’s record falls to 4-4 in the second round, and they will not be advancing to the final rounds.

Team USA scored their runs one at a time, beginning right away in the top of the 1st.� For the second day in a row, CF Mike Trout (Angels) started the game with a home run, this one a huge blast over the left field wall.� Two singles followed, but both runners were out on the basepaths:� C Jordan Pacheco (Rockies) tried to stretch his single into a double and was thrown out at second base.� 3B Mike Moustakas also singled, but when former Pirate DH Brad Eldred lined out to the third baseman, Moustakas was doubled off first base.�

In the 2nd inning, 2B Cord Phelps (Cleveland Indians) started a 2-out rally with his single into left field.� LF Brian Barden (Marlins)�drove in Phelps with a double into right field, and the USA was up, 2-0.

USA starter Mike Montgomery (Royals) pitched 5 innings, and he began his afternoon by retiring the first eight batters he faced.� He gave up a walk to SS Jonathan Malo and a single to 2B Pete Orr, but left them on base with an inning-ending strikeout.� Canada’s biggest�threat of the game came�in the 4th inning, when former Pirate farmhand RF Jamie Romak led off with a single into left field.� DH Jimmy Van Ostrand tapped one back to the mound (it may have been a bunt), but Montgomery was quick enough to field the ball and whirl to throw to second base, forcing out Romak and leaving Van Ostrand at first.� After a strikeout, Montgomery�gave up a single to�3B Shawn Bowman, then loaded the bases with a walk to 1B Scott Thorman.� A strikeout�by C Cole Armstrong got Montgomery out of the jam, and Canada was still scoreless.

Montgomery retired the side in order again in the 5th, and he left the game having allowed 3 hits and 2 walks, with 8 strikeouts in his 5 scoreless innings.

Team USA added another run in the top of the 6th.� With one out, Mike Moustakas ripped a double down the right field line.� Moments later, 1B Eric Hosmer (Royals) drove Moustakas in with his own double into left field, picking up an RBI.� Hosmer collected another RBI in the top of the 9th, with a solo home run.

Bryan Henry (Diamondbacks) took the mound in the top of the 6th in relief of Montgomery.� Henry retired all 9 batters he faced in order — two fly outs and a ground out in the 6th, three ground outs in the 7th, and three pop outs in the 8th.

Tim Collins (Royals) relieved Henry for the 9th inning.� He began by striking out Romak, then gave up a single to Van Ostrand and walked LF Adam Loewen.� With two runners on, Canada’s final hopes were dashed when Collins got the next two batters to pop out, ending the game.�

Romak went 1-for-4 in the game.� Brad Eldred was hitless in 4 trips to the plate, and SS Chase d’Arnaud was hitless in his 3 at-bats.� Mike Moustakas led Team USA with 3 hits (he also singled in the 3rd but was left on base). Mike Trout had�2 hits (he singled in the 8th, but was out in a double play), and Eric Hosmer also had 2 hits and 2 RBI.

Team USA’s final second round game will be on Monday, as they face Cuba.�

Team USA is the only undefeated team in the tournament, since Cuba lost to the Dominican Republic (9-6) on Saturday night.� Puerto Rico beat Nicaragua 5-1 on Saturday, and former Pirate Ramon Vasquez had both a single and a double in that game.�

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Team USA Defeats Venezuela In 12

Team USA� 6,� Venezuela� 3

Team USA had to wait out another rain delay, then play another extra-inning game, to earn the win over Venezuela this afternoon.� The victory gives USA a 7-0 record in the Pan-American tournament.

CF Mike Trout (Angels) got the game started with a bang — a solo home run over the center field wall for a 1-0 lead.� After an out, the next three batters walked — 3B Mike Moustakas (Royals), DH Brad Eldred (Rockies) on 4 pitches, and 1B Eric Hosmer (Royals) on 4 pitches.� But the USA could not capitalize on the gifts, and the next two batters struck out to end the inning.

Venezuela tied the score in the bottom of the 2nd, on a double and a single off USA starter Everett Teaford (Royals).� They took a 2-1 lead in the 3rd.� Teaford gave up a single and a walk, and a sacrifice bunt moved�both runners into scoring position.� Another walk loaded the bases with one out.� The next batter scorched a line drive into right field, and it might have cleared the bases — but RF Todd Frazier (Reds) made a spectacular full-layout diving catch for the out.� The runner on third was able to tag up and score, but it was one run and not three runs.�

Team USA came right back to tie the score at 2-2 in the top of the 4th.� Frazier was hit by a pitch, then scored on 2B Cord Phelps’ (Cleveland Indians) triple.� SS Chase d’Arnaud walked and stole second base after the triple, but both he and Phelps were left on base.�

After that, there were a lot of donuts.� Teaford pitched 4 innings (and eventually got a no-decision), allowing those 2 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks, with 3 strikeouts.� Andre Lamontagne (Brewers) pitched 3 shutout innings, allowing just 2 hits with 4 strikeouts.� Anthony Carter (White Sox) pitched a 1-2-3 inning,� then Bruce Billings (Rockies) added another 2 scoreless innings, with a double and 4 strikeouts.� Nick Hill (Mariners) came on to pitch the bottom of the 11th, and he also retired the side in order.

The USA bats were not having any better luck.� With two outs in the 6th, both Brian Barden (Marlins) and Chase d’Arnaud singled, but the Venezuelans brought in a new pitcher, who got a strikeout to end the threat.� Brad Eldred walked for the third time in the 7th (he had walked and stole second base in the 3rd), and Barden singled again in the 8th, but both were left stranded.� As the game went into extras, both teams went down in order in the 10th.� Phelps led off the top of the 11th with a single, and advanced to second base on an error by the right fielder.� Barden bunted Phelps to third base, but he was left standing there when d’Arnaud popped out to short and Trout struck out.�

The top of the 12th brought on the extra-inning tie-breaker rule that is used in international play.� Barden was “placed on first” and d’Arnaud was “placed on second”, and Trout was up to bat.� Trout put down a grounder, but the base runners were speedy, and everyone was safe on a fielder’s choice play.� C Jordan Pacheco (Rockies) ripped a double into left field, and both Barden and�d’Arnaud�came in to score (both “unearned”).� Moustakas walked to load the bases.�� Eldred flied out, but it was too short for tagging up from third.� Then Hosmer grounded right to first for the second out of the inning.� The Venezuelan first baseman thought that he could also get Trout out at the plate, but his throw went well wide of his catcher.� Trout scored easily, and Pacheco raced around from second to score as well, and the USA�had a 6-2 lead.� Frazier was hit by a pitch for the second time, and he stole second base, but Phelps flied out to end the inning.

Venezuela was not done, though.� With Hill still on the mound, Venezuela also had two runners “placed” on first and second.� Hill hit the batter to load the bases.� He was relieved by Justin De Fratus (Phillies), who got a grounder to second base for a fielder’s choice, allowing the runner from third to score.� But De Fratus got a pop out and another ground out to end the game and earn the save.� Hill was credited with the win.�

Team USA and Team Canada are scheduled to meet on Sunday at 2 pm (barring another rain issue, of course).

Canada� 9,� Panama� 5

Team Canada fended off elimination for at least one more day with a win today over Panama.� The Canadians exploded to score 8 runs in the 3rd inning.� Adam Stern smacked a double with the bases loaded, and he scored on�a 2-run homer by Jamie Romak.� (It was Romak’s fourth homer of the tournament, and second in two days.)� Moments later, another homer by Shawn Bowman drove in 3 more runs.� Adam Loewen added a solo home run in the 5th.�

Phillippe Aumont pitched 5 scoreless innings in his start for Canada, and he earned the win.� Tom Boleska followed Aumont with�one scoreless inning of relief.� Panama scored 4 runs in the 8th inning, including a 2-run homer, and scored one more in the 9th, but the Canadians held on for the win.�

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Redmond Leads Team USA To Victory

Team USA� 5,� Nicaragua� 0

Starter Todd Redmond pitched 7 shutout innings this afternoon to lead Team USA to victory over�Nicaragua in their first game of the second round of the Pan American Tournament.� Due to persistent rain in Puerto Rico, the location of the game was moved from Ponce to Carolina, then the time of the game was moved up to 4 pm.� The team barely had time to get dressed and stretch, and it was time to play.

Redmond started the game by getting into a jam in the top of the 1st.� He gave up a single to the lead-off hitter, then got two outs, then loaded the bases with a walk and a hit batter. But Redmond got out of the jam with a strikeout, and he sailed after that.� He gave up a single with two outs in the 2nd inning, but a base running blunder (don’t round first base and then try to locate the ball)� let 1b Eric Hosmer tag the runner out to end the inning.� Two Nicaraguan coaches were ejected after arguing the play.� Redmond gave up two more singles — one in the 4th, leaving the runner stranded, and one in the 7th, who he erased with a double play.� He struck out a total of 6 batters in his 7 innings.�

Team USA got the bats going in the bottom of the�1st.� With one out, 2B Cord Phelps (Cleveland Indians) doubled, then 3B Mike Moustakas (Royals) walked.� When the Nicaraguan pitcher made a pick-off throw to first but forgot to make sure his first baseman was there to catch the ball, Phelps raced around to score on the error.� Moustakas ended up on third base, and a sacrifice fly by DH Brad Eldred brought him across the plate, to give Team USA a 2-0 lead.�

The bats were quiet in the 2nd inning, and SS Chase d’Arnaud walked and stole second base in the 3rd, but was left stranded.� Team USA added a run in the 4th inning.� Hosmer singled, then advanced to second base on a fly out by LF Todd Frazier (Reds).� C Erik Kratz’s RBI single plated Hosmer, and the Americans were up 3-0.�

The next 9 USA batters went down in order, until the bottom of the 8th.� D’Arnaud led off that inning with another walk, and moved to second base on a wild pitch.� A fly out by CF Mike Trout (Angels) pushed d’Arnaud to third base, then he scored on an RBI single by Phelps.� Eldred reached base on an error, then an RBI single by Hosmer brought Phelps in with the USA’s 5th run.�

Tim Collins (Royals) pitched the 8th inning, working around a lead-off single.� Justin De Fratus (Phillies) took the 9th.� He gave up a 2-out single, then ended the game with a strikeout.�

�The win guarantees that Team USA will finish at least in the top 7 of this tournament, which gives them an automatic spot in the 2011 Pan Am tournament.

Also playing:

Dominican Republic� 5,�� Canada� 2

The Canadians also got a change in venue (from Ponce to San Juan) and an earlier start time due to the rain.� The Dominicans got started in the bottom of the 1st inning with a run on a bunt single, a walk, and a sacrifice fly.� They picked up two more runs in the 3rd, courtesy of a triple, a single, and a double.� Canada got one run back in the top of the 4th,�on a single by Pete Orr, followed by a single that bounced off the first base umpire and a throwing error by the first baseman, allowing Orr to score.� Former Pirate farmhand Jamie Romak added another run for Canada with a solo home run in the 8th.� But the Dominican team scored one run in the 4th and another in the 8th, to easily take the win.�

Canada is now in a tight spot — they must win their game against Panama on Saturday in order to advance to the semi-finals.

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Team USA Advances To Round Two

Team USA� 10,� Panama� 2

Team USA finished their first round play in the Pan American tournament with a victory over Panama, to give them a 5-0 record.

Playing at Roberto Clemente Stadium in Carolina, Puerto Rico, the Americans jumped out to a great start, batting around in the top of the 1st, bringing in 4 runs.� SS Chase d’Arnaud, 1B Eric Hosmer (Royals) and Todd Frazier (Reds) each contributed an RBI.� Mike Trout (Royals) led off the top of the 4th with a solo home run, bringing the score to 5-0.

Danny Duffy (Royals) made the start for Team USA.� He gave up a walk to the first batter he faced, then sailed through the rest of the first three innings.� Panama scored one run off Duffy in the bottom of the frame on two doubles.� They threatened again in the 5th, but Duffy got out of the jam without any more runs scoring.

Chase d’Arnaud got Team USA going again in the 6th with a triple, and Trout’s single brought d’Arnaud across the plate.� Trout stole second base, then Pacheco was hit by a pitch.� That brought up Brad Eldred (Rockies) who pushed the score to 9-1 with his 3-run homer over the left field wall.

Bryan Henry (Diamondbacks) relieved Duffy to begin the 6th inning.� He gave up one run after a lead-off triple for Panama’s second run of the game.� In the 7th, Henry got into a jam, but a timely double play ended the inning without a run scoring.

D’Arnaud and Trout combined to give Team USA one more run in the 9th.� With one out, d’Arnaud doubled, then moved to third base on a throwing error.� Trout’s second RBI single of the game plated d’Arnaud with the USA’s 10th run.

Team USA now moves on to Round Two, after a day off on Thursday.� Both Team USA and the Cuban team (in Group B) finished Round One with 5-0 records.� So far, three teams have been eliminated:� Colombia, Aruba, and the Netherlands Antilles.

Also today:

Canada 10,� Netherlands Antilles� 1 –� The Canadians ran over the Netherlands’ Antilles team, holding them to just 4 hits and one run.� That one run came in the 7th inning on a walk, a double, and an RBI ground out.� Scott Diamond made the start for Canada and pitched 4 innings, allowing one hit and striking out 5 batters.� Five more pitchers got in one inning each, including former Pirate farmhand Dave Davidson. Davidson pitched the top of the 9th, and gave up one hit and a walk, but did not let a run score.�� Meanwhile, the Canadian batters were having their way with the Netherland Antilles’ pitchers, putting up 12 hits.� The scoring started with CF Adam Stern’s 3-run homer in the 2nd inning.� In the 3rd, they added another 3 runs with an RBI double by LF Adam Loewen, and an RBI ground out by Stern.� RF Jamie Romak added another home run, plus a single, accounting for 2 more RBI.

Team Canada will have Thursday off, then begin second round play on Friday, though their opponent has yet to be determined.

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