U.S. tops Cuba to win gold in Olympic qualifier
HAVANA -- Michael Bourn homered twice and three teammates also hit homers to lead the United States to an 8-5 win over Cuba on Tuesday night in the gold-medal game of a qualifying tournament for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The U.S. and Cuba already both qualified for the 2008 Games by reaching the championship contest.
Bobby Hill, Brandon Wood and Jarrod Saltalamacchi also homered for the Americans, who finished the tournament with an 8-1 record. Cuba also finished 8-1.
Bourne, Wood and Mike Kinkade each had two RBI for the winners, who took an early 4-1 lead but could not prevent the Cubans from tying the game 5-5 in the seventh. The Americans scored two in the eighth to break the tie, and added a run in the ninth.
Lee Gronkiewicz, the fourth U.S. pitcher, pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings and struck out three for the victory. Pedro L. Lazo was the loser in a game watched by an estimated 45,000 Cubans.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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