Righthander Jeff Marquez (Yankees) retired the first nine batters he faced and gave Team USA six strong innings en route to a 7-3 victory against Japan in the 2011 World Cup in Panama.
The American team of non-40-man roster players improved to 2-1 on a day when the rest of the World Cup got a day off. This game had been rescheduled after being rained out Sunday, but the delay didn't keep the Americans from getting off to a good start, including a two-run second inning, keyed by a two-run double by catcher Tuffy Gosewisch (Phillies).
After Japan tied the score with two in the bottom of the fourth, the U.S. used two hits and two walks to re-take the lead in the fifth with a two-run single by veteran big leaguer Joey Thurston (Marlins). Japan pulled to within 4-3 on a pair of infield hits (one a bunt) and two groundouts in the bottom half, but that was as close as they'd get. The U.S. added single runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth, and relievers Justin Cassel (White Sox), Pete Andrelczyk (Marlins) and Scott Patterson (Mariners) each pitched a scoreless inning to close out the victory.
The U.S. piled up 14 hits and every batter had at least one, with Brett Jackson (Cubs) and A.J. Pollock (Diamondbacks) joining Danks, Gosewisch and Mercer in having two apiece. Marquez gave up five hits and two runs while walking none and striking out two.
The U.S. plays winless Greece on Thursday as all 16 teams return to action. Other featured matchups include the Dominican Republic vs. Venezuela, unbeaten Canada vs. Taiwan and Cuba vs. South Korea.
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