Righthander Jeff Karstens shut down Mexico in six scoreless innings of work to lead Team USA to a 3-0 victory over Mexico in the first games for both teams in the 2007 World Cup in Taiwan. Team USA plays Panama (1-0) today.
Team USA scored all three of its runs with two outs in the fifth inning. Mexico lefthander Hector Rodriguez, who had held Team USA scoreless until that point, hit right fielder Justin Ruggiano with a pitch. Catcher Jason Jaramillo followed with a single to right field before Rodriguez walked shortstop Brian Bixler to load the bases.
With center fielder Colby Rasmus at the plate, Rodriguez hurled a wild pitch, allowing Ruggiano to score the first run of the game. After Rasmus walked to reload the bases, second baseman Jayson Nix singled to right field, scoring Jaramillo and Bixler.
Karstens, meanwhile, threw struck out two and walked one in his six innings on the mound. Righthander Lee Gronkiewicz came on to retire the side in the seventh inning, then recorded two outs in the eighth before lefthander Neal Musser came on in relief to finish the inning. Righthander Chris Booker tossed a 1-2-3 inning in the ninth to close out the game.
Rasmus, who hit leadoff, went 2-for-4 with a double. Jaramillo also had two hits. For Mexico, third baseman Efren Espinoza went 2-for-4 with a stolen base.
Today’s schedule (times listed are Taiwan times):
Noon: USA vs. Panama
Noon: Italy vs. Spain
6 p.m.: Japan vs. Mexico
6 p.m.: South Africa vs. Taiwan
Noon: Canada vs. Thailand
Noon: Venezuela vs. Korea
6 p.m.: Australia vs. Netherlands
6 p.m.: Germany vs. Cuba