Shealy, Saltalamacchia power U.S. rout of Panama
MESA, Ariz. -- Ryan Shealy went 4-for-4 with a home run, two doubles and three RBI while Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a pair of solo homers as Team USA beat Panama 9-3 on Friday in a regional Olympic qualifying tournament.
The United States (4-0) remained the only unbeaten team in the six-team tournament that ends Saturday. Four teams will advance to the next qualifying event in August at Havana, Cuba.
Team USA took a 3-2 lead on Shealy's RBI single in the third inning and then chased Panama starter Jose Nieto in the fourth.
Shane Victorino had an RBI triple and Howie Kendrick added an RBI single for a 5-2 lead.
Team USA starter Steven White scattered six hits over the first five innings and struck out five while walking two.
Meanwhile, in Phoenix, Mexico stayed alive for the final qualifying spot with a 7-2 victory over Canada.
Rigo Beltran scattered six hits over six strong innings, giving up just one run. Pablo Ortega worked the final three innings to get the save for Mexico (2-2).
The loss was the first in the tournament for Canada (3-1), which got a solo homer from Joey Votto.
Luis Garcia had four hits while Leo Arauz went 3-for-5 with a triple and two RBI as Mexico got 17 hits off five Canadian pitchers.
Also Friday, William Juarez pitched six shutout innings as Nicaragua clinched an Olympic baseball qualifying position with a 6-1 win over Guatemala.
Juarez struck out two while giving up only four hits for Nicaragua (2-2). Guatamala (0-4) has been eliminated from contention for the four qualifying spots for the next tournament in August at Havana, Cuba.
Nicaragua tagged Guatemala's starter Hugo Pivaral for three runs in the first inning and three more in the sixth.
Edgard Lopez went 3-for-5 with two RBI.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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