The Cubans added another three-run homer, this time by catcher Ariel Pestano. The Cubans lead 10-2 heading into the ninth.
Right fielder Alexei Bell hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Cubans a 7-2 lead.
Following one out singles to right by Michel Enriquez and Frederich Cepeda, Bell crushed a no doubt homer to left and he stood at the plate admiring his work.
The Americans received a big break in the top of the fifth inning. With one out, catcher Lou Marson hit a high pop up in shallow right. The ball fell in between the first baseman and right fielder.
The play was called an error and Marson reached second. Then the next hitter, Jason Donald hit a solid single to center, scoring Marson, who just got under the tag of the Cuban catcher,
Cuba 3, US 2
Cuban DH Alfredo Despaigne hit a two-out solo shot to center on a 1-1 hanging breaking pitch.
Cuba 3, USA 1
The U.S. scored a run in the top of the fourth inning when it put together a small rally. Brian Barden and Nate Schierholtz led off with base hits.
After Terry Tiffee moved over the runs by grounding to second base, DH Matt Brown hit a sacrifice fly to shallow left to bring home Barden.
Cuba 2, US 1
United States pitcher Stephen Strasburg (San Diego State) got out of a little jam in the top of the second when he gave up two infield singles and a ground rule double.
Before the double, Strasburg was bailed out as the US catcher Lou Marson threw out a Cuban, who was trying to steal second base.
Good morning Boston
I am awaiting for the start of the USA-Cuba semifinal baseball game. I will provide some updates.
The U.S. baseball team won a pitchers' duel by committee Wednesday night, defeating Japan 4-2 in 11 innings to close out preliminary play in the 2008 Olympic Games tournament.
U.S. manager Davey Johnson used six pitchers, with Jeff Stevens (Berkeley, Calif.) picking up the win after pitching the 12th and 13th innings to gain his first win of the Games. Casey Weathers (Elk Grove, Calif.) picked up his first save, striking out one in the 14th. Each team managed only five hits, with American Dexter Fowler (Atlanta, Ga.) wrapping out a pair of singles in three at-bats.
The American team receives the No. 3 seed moving into semifinal play and will face Cuba, the No. 2 seed, on Friday, August 22.
USA beat China 9-1.
In the bottom of the seventh inning a Chinese pitcher hit American batter Matt LaPorta with a pitch to the helmet.
The pitcher has been ejected.
LaPorta was struck behind the left ear. He is going to the dugout and leaving the game.
With one catcher knocked out of the game with an injury from a collision with a runner, another American ran over the backup Chinese catcher to score.
It was more than enough for the former major league manager Jim Lefebvre could take for his Chinese ball club. He came out with a profanity-laced tirade to the umpire saying the runner used his forearm to run over his catcher.
Meanwhile, the Americans lead 5-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning one out and a man on second.
Cuba's baseball team had to work overtime to earn a 5-4 victory over the United States in 11 innings Friday afternoon at the Wukesong Baseball Main Field.
Jayson Nix (Dallas, Texas) hit a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game at 3 and force the extra innings. Cuba pushed two runs across in the top half of the 11th, and the Americans could only respond with that that for the final score. Terry Tiffee (North Little Rock, Ark.) went 2-4 with a run and an RBI to lead the U.S. offense.
Nix was hit in the face by a fouled bunt attempt in the U.S. loss to Cuba and was taken to the hospital for evaluation. More information will be available later after the examination. Nix was a first round (supplemental) draft choice of the Colorado Rockies and plays outfield for the Rockies AAA affiliate Colorado Springs.
Now 1-2, the Americans' next test is Canada in a game scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday August 16.
The U.S. Olympic baseball team bounced back with a 7-0 victory over the Netherlands on Thursday after losing its opening game 8-7 against Korea.
The game was shortened due to rain with the teams unable to complete the bottom of the ninth inning at Wukesong Field 2.
Steven Strasburg (San Diego, Calif.) hurled seven scoreless innings and did not allow a hit until the seventh inning. Matt LaPorta (Port Charlotte, Fla.) tallied a three-run homer and Matt Brown (Bellevue, Wash.) added a solo shot as well to pace the offensive attack.
Team USA returns to action on Friday morning vs. Cuba, with first pitch scheduled for 11:30 am at the Wukesong Main Field.
The U.S. baseball team fell 8-7 to a scrappy Korean squad in the opening game for both teams in the 2008 Olympic Games baseball tournament.
Trailing 6-4 going into the ninth inning, the Americans were able to plate three runs and take a one-run lead into the bottom half of the inning. Korea was able to answer with two runs, with the winning run coming on a sacrifice fly by Lee Jongwook that scored Lee Taekkeun from third base.
It will be a quick turn-around for the U.S. as it faces the Netherlands at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, August 14, at Wukesong Baseball Field. The Netherlands lost its opening round game to Chinese Taipei, 5-0, earlier Wednesday.
Look for contributions from the following Globe Staffers in Beijing:
- John Powers
- Shira Springer
- Bob Ryan
- Marc J. Spears
- Gregory Lee
- Scott LaPierre
- Patricia Wen