NEW YORK (AP) - Red Sox minor leaguer Che-Hsuan Lin hit a 2-run homer as nine World team pitchers combined on a 3-hitter Sunday for a 3-0 victory over the USA in the Futures Game at Yankee Stadium, Sunday afternoon.
The 10th annual showcase for baseball's premier prospects began a much-hyped farewell to Yankee Stadium, with Tuesday night's All-Star game highlighting the grand ballpark's final season.
Six of the World's nine pitchers came in to hold the U.S. hitless, starting with Phillies' Class AA-Reading prospect Carlos Carrasco (5-7, 4.09), who struck out two.
Not until a 5th-inning, two-out walk to catcher Taylor Teagarden (Class AAA-Oklahoma) and an ensuing single from shortstop Jason Donald (Class AA-Reading) did the U.S. put a runner in scoring position. The only hit up until then was a single from former Huntsville Star Matt LaPorta that glanced off Australian 3rd baseman Luke Hughes (Class AA-New Britain) on its way into left field.
Once Teagarden and Donald put together their rally off Royals Double-A prospect Julio Pimentel, the rest of the World Team bullpen clamped down. After Pimentel struck out McCutchen on a breaking ball to end the threat, a string of seven consecutive U.S. batters were retired.
A's prospect Henry Rodriguez (Class A-Stockton) broke the string with a leadoff walk to Bryan Anderson (Class AAA-Memphis) in the 8th. All he did from there was unleash a series of 100 mph fastballs to strike out the next three batters, including Southern Leaguer Chris Valaika (Chattanooga). Rodriguez threw so violently that he fell over on the mound after delivering one of those fastballs.
Arguably, the best-hit ball for the U.S. for the first six innings was a deep drive from Pirates top prospect Andrew McCutchen (Class AAA-Indianapolis), and that sailed foul.
A 1st-inning throwing error by Donald provided the opening for the World Team to take an early lead. Former Braves prospect Elvis Andrus (Class AA-Frisco) ended up on second base with one out after the miscue, and promptly stole third to set up Pablo Sandoval (Class AA-Connecticut) for the RBI on a fielder's-choice grounder, making Birmingham Barons pitcher Clayton Richard the losing pitcher for the U.S.
Center fielder Lin (Class A-Greenville) went 2-for-2, including the 2-run homer in the 6th that sealed the World Team's victory. The only other hitter on either side with two hits was Jacksonville Suns 2nd baseman Ivan DeJesus, Jr.
Huntsville Stars 3rd baseman Mat Gamel drew a pair of walks in his two at-bats. LaPorta ended up going 1-for-3 with a walk. Former Stars pitcher Will Inman pitched a scoreless 5th inning for the U.S. team.