Team USA lost its first game of the World Cup today when Italy (2-0) defeated the Americans 6-2, dropping Team USA’s record to 2-1.
Italy took a 3-2 lead into the fourth inning, then widened its lead to 6-2 with three runs in the bottom of the fourth. Lefthander Josh Outman allowed three runs in three innings and took the loss. Team USA committed three errors during the game, including two by shortstop Brian Bixler.
Team USA had a chance to rally in the top of the ninth after right fielder Justin Ruggiano and catcher Jason Jaramillo walked with one out. Manager Davey Johnson brought in Steven Pearce to pinch-hit for Bixler, but Pearce struck out swinging. With two outs, center fielder Colby Rasmus drew a walk to load the bases, but second baseman Jayson Nix struck out to end the game.
For Team USA, one bright spot was Ruggiano, who went 2-for-2 with a home run and two walks. Check back later in the day on the World Cup Blog for more detailed coverage and analysis of Team USA’s loss and for reports on other games from around the World Cup in Taiwan.