Trout, unbeaten U.S. pound Panama

Angels outfield prospect collects three more hits, three RBIs

Mike Trout is hitting .529 (9-for-17) in four games for Team USA. (

By USA Baseball | October 6, 2010 9:08 PM

CAROLINA, Puerto Rico -- The USA Baseball Pan American Qualifying Team defeated Panama, 10-2, on Wednesday night to finish pool play with a perfect 5-0 record.

The U.S. has an off day Thursday and will kick off the second round on Friday.

Angels prospect Mike Trout continued his scorching play for Team USA, going 3-for-6 with a homer, three RBIs, a stolen base and two runs scored. Through four games, the former first-round pick is hitting .529 (9-for-17) six runs scored and five RBIs. He leads the team with 16 total bases and carries an eye-popping 1.541 OPS, good for second on the club behind Cubs prospect Brett Jackson (1.769).

Danny Duffy (1-0) became the third member of the Royals' Double-A affiliate to start for Team USA. And much like teammates Everett Teaford and Mike Montgomery, the left-hander dominated, limiting Panama to one run on four hits and a walk while striking out one over five innings.

Bruce Billings (Rockies), Bryan Henry (Diamondbacks) and Justin De Fratus (Phillies) combined for four strong frames, allowing a run on three hits.

Team USA scored four times in the first and again in the sixth. With two outs and two on in the opening frame, Royals prospect Eric Hosmer slapped an RBI single. Todd Frazier (Reds) followed with another single of his own, plating Texas League MVP Mike Moustakas. Cord Phelps (Indians) drew the third walk of the inning to load the bases, and Brian Barden (Marlins) and Chase d'Arnaud (Pirates) followed suit to produce two more runs.

The parade of free passes ultimately chased Panama starter Elias Saenz (0-1) before Julio Denis retired Trout to stop the bleeding.

Trout's solo shot in the fourth made it 5-0, and the U.S. poured it on again two innings later. After Barden flied out, d'Arnaud tripled to right and scored on a base hit by Trout. On the heels of Trout's stolen base, Rockies prospect Jordan Pacheco was hit by a pitch and, one out later, Major League veteran Brad Eldred (Rockies) hit a towering blast to left that hit the bottom of the scoreboard and extended Team USA's lead to 9-1.

Panama scored a run in the bottom of the inning, but the U.S. wasn't done, tacking on one more run in the ninth on another RBI single by Trout.

Denis was strong in relief for Panama, yielding a run on two hits over 4 1/3 innings. Kevin Ramos was the star at the plate in the loss, going 3-for-4.

DUFF'S ENOUGH: Duffy started for Team USA and turned in five solid innings for the win, giving up a run on four hits. The left-hander pitched at four levels in the Royals organization this season, making seven starts for Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Royals general manager Dayton Moore was in attendance for the second night in a row.

COACHES CORNER: Chicago White Sox Minor League pitching coordinator Kirk Champion begins his fourth stint as Team USA pitching coach. Champ, as he is known, won gold at the 2009 IBAF World Cup, took home silver at the 2001 World Cup and helped lead the U.S. pitching staff at the 2006 COPABE Olympic Qualifier. Champ enjoys pretzels and Werthers caramel candies on team bus rides.

TROUT BREAKS OUT: Trout continued his torrid hitting, going 3-for-6 with a homer, three RBIs, a stolen base and two runs scored. In four games, the Angels prospect is 9-for-17 with six runs scored and four RBIs, good for a .529 average. The 19-year-old former first-round pick batted .341 in 131 Minor League games this year, stealing 56 bases and scoring 106 runs.

WHAT A RELIEF: Three pitchers combined on the final four innings. Henry (one earned run), Billings and De Fratus scattered three hits to seal Team USA's fifth straight win and first place in its pool.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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