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Old 09-23-2009, 08:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Team USA Stays Hot In World Cup

Team USA Stays Hot In World Cup

Team USA avenged its only loss of the 2009 World Cup by beating Venezuela 6-3 on Tuesday, the Americans’ 10th straight victory.

As usual, the Americans got a home run, with a solo shot in the fourth inning by Pedro Alvarez (Pirates). His fellow Pittsburgh farmhand, righthander Brad Lincoln, got the victory, pitching 6 2/3 innings in his second start against Venezuela during the tournament. The Americans had lost 13-9 to Venezuela in extra innings in the World Cup opener for both teams, back on Sept. 10.

Venezuela rallied to put the tying run on base in the ninth as U.S. reliever Nate Field (Marlins) walked the first two batters of the inning. However, Field got a pair of outs and Geno Espineli (Giants) retired Luis Landaeta on the liner to second baseman Tug Hulett (Royals) to end the game and pick up the save.
Hulett had two hits and two RBIs, driving in the first run of the game with an RBI double in the third inning. That was the first of a four-run frame, as he later scored on a fielder’s choice and Terry Tiffee (Phillies) added a two-run single to cap the frame. After Alvarez’s homer in the fourth, Team USA got its sixth and final run in the sixth when Hulett walked with two outs, advanced on a single by Buck Coats (Blue Jays) and scored on Trevor Plouffe’s single, which extended Plouffe’s hitting streak to 10 games.

The victory gives Team USA a 4-0 record in the third round, as the U.S. carries over its 3-0 second round mark against the other three teams in its pool into the third round.

by John Manuel
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