Undefeated USA earns top seed

Archer dominant in 4-1 victory over Cuba at Pan Am qualifier

Chris Archer went 15-3 across two Minor League levels this season. (Ricardo Arduengo/AP)

By MiLB.com Staff | October 11, 2010 8:50 PM

Chris Archer dominated Cuba on Monday, pitching undefeated United States to a 4-1 win and the top seed at the Pan Am Qualifying Tournament.

Archer, the Cubs' 2010 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, allowed two hits and fanned 10 over six shutout innings as Team USA improved to 9-0 heading into the semifinal round in Puerto Rico.

Nick Hill allowed a run on four hits over 1 2/3 innings, while Anthony Carter closed out the game by allowing a hit over 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

Mike Moustakas put the United States on the board early with a two-RBI double in the third inning. Moustakas also scored a run in the sixth, crossing home on an error by first baseman Jose Abreu. Fellow Royals prospect Eric Hosmer went 2-for-4 with a run scored, and Todd Frazier had two hits, including a double. Angels prospect Mike Trout singled and scored a run. Trout finished the opening round with a .361 average and 10 runs.

Vladimir Garcia allowed three runs -- two earned -- on seven hits while fanning four over five innings in the loss. Dalier Hinojosa allowed an unearned run on two hits over three innings.

Hector Olivera drove in the only run for Cuba (7-2) with an RBI triple in the eighth. Frederich Cepeda was 3-for-4 in a losing cause.

BARD HITTIN': With an infield hit in the first inning, Brian Barden extended his hit streak to six games (8-22, .364). The veteran of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Baseball Team has played three positions for Team USA in the Pan American Qualifier, seeing time at left field, shortstop and second base.

OLD AQUAINTANCES: Mike Moustakas was no stranger to Cuban starter Garcia, having faced the righty just over four years ago in the quarterfinals of the COPABE Junior (18U) Pan American Championships. Moustakas played left field and batted cleanup for the 18U National Team that day, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored.

QUALITY QUALIFYING: By finishing in the top seven of the Pan Am Qualifier, the United States has punched its ticket to the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, tentatively scheduled for next October. Additionally, Team USA's top-six finish to snare a spot in the 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup.

FAMILIAR FOES: Monday marked the ninth time a USA Baseball professional team and Cuba have met since 2000, including the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The U.S. improved to 6-3 in those games. Prior to Monday's game, Team USA had most recently faced its intercontinental rival last September in Italy, taking home gold from the 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup.

SEMIFINAL BREAKDOWN: With the win, the United States became the No. 1 seed advancing from Round 2, while Cuba finished the round as No. 2. Earlier Monday, Venezuela defeated the Dominican Republic, 12-4, to finish third. Although both teams completed play with 4-3 records, Venezuela earned the tiebreaker with Monday's win. Team USA will face the Dominican Republic at 7:30 p.m. ET at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan on Tuesday night.

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

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