Two Hits For Mercer, But Team USA Loses To Cuba

Cuba 8,  USA 7

SS Jordy Mercer was back in the lineup for Team USA, but even his two hits were not enough to help the US overcome Cuba.

With Jeff Marquez (Yankees) on the mound for the US, Cuba got going with 3 runs in the bottom of the 1st.  Back-to-back singles opened the inning, then a wild pitch put both runners into scoring position.  A single up the middle drove in both runners, then two more singles loaded the bases, still with no outs.  A grounder to Mercer, who started a successful double play, resulted in two outs, but the runner from third base scored, and Cuba had a 3-0 lead.

3B Tommy Mendonca (Rangers) led off the top of the 2nd with a solo home run, to put Team USA onto the scoreboard.  Mendonca also contributed to a 3rd inning rally which tied the score.  DH Brett Jackson (Cubs) led off with a single, then moved to second base when the Cuba pitcher made a wide throw on a pickoff attempt.  2B Joe Thurston (Marlins) walked, and both runners tagged up and advanced one base when 1B Matt Clark (Padres) flied out.  LF Brett Carroll (Red Sox) slipped a single through the left side of the infield, scoring both Jackson and Thurston to tie the score.  Cuba brought in a relief pitcher, but Mendonca greeted him with a double into left field, driving in Carroll with the go-ahead run.  USA 4, Cuba 3.

But the Cubans came roaring right back in the bottom of the frame.  A single and a 2-run homer gave them a 5-4 lead. Three more singles brought in an additional two runs, and Cuba led 7-4.  Marquez left the game, and was eventually charged with the loss.  He allowed 7 runs, all earned, on 11 hits in 3 innings.

The US got two of the runs back in the top of the 5th.  With two outs, Clark singled and Carroll doubled, then Mendonca drove in both with a single into center field.  That brought the US closer, 7-6.

Charlie Fick (Cardinals) pitched 3 scoreless innings in relief of Marquez, allowing just 3 hits.  He was relieved by Pete Andrelczyk (Marlins), who got the first two outs in the 7th, then gave up a single and an RBI double, boosting Cuba to an 8-6 lead.

Team USA got that run right back in the top of the 8th.  Also with two outs, CF Jordan Danks (White Sox) singled into right field, then Mercer doubled down the left field line.  Danks would have had to stop at third, but a throwing error by the Cuban left fielder let him come around to score (unearned, and no RBI for Mercer).  Team USA went down with three strikeouts in the top of the 9th, and Cuba had the win.

Mercer also singled in the 6th inning, but was erased in a double play.