The United States baseball team nearly captured a gold medal at the Pan American Games for the first time since 1967 before a catastrophic defensive mishap led to a heartbreaking 7-6 loss to Canada on Sunday in Ajax, Ontario. It was the second straight time that Canada beat the U.S. in the gold medal game, after doing the same in 2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico.
The teams were tied 4-4 through nine innings. Due to international tie-breaker rules, both teams begin each extra frame with runners on first and second base, and the U.S. capitalized in the top of the 10th, when third baseman and Rangers farmhand Tyler Pastornicky ripped a go-ahead two-run single.
In the bottom of the inning, Canada moved to within 6-5 on an RBI single by Pete Orr, an eight-year MLB veteran who now is in Triple-A for the Brewers. Then, disaster struck for the U.S. Left-hander David Huff, who has appeared in three games for the Dodgers this season, attempted to pick Orr off first but threw wide and up the right-field line. Right fielder Brian Bogusevic, a member of the Phillies Triple-A squad, then committed his own error getting the ball back into the infield.
Both runners scored on the play, with Orr racing around, diving headfirst across home plate and raising his arms in celebration before his teammates dogpiled on top of him.
Pastornicky went 3-for-5 to lead the U.S. team. The Cubs' Albert Almora, MLB.com's No. 44 overall prospect, added an RBI single to tie the game in the seventh inning. Cardinals No. 13 prospect Jacob Wilson also drove in a run, while Mariners No. 4 prospect Patrick Kivlehan went 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
For Canada, lefty Jeff Francis got the start and allowed four runs over seven innings, with seven strikeouts. Francis, an 11-year big league veteran, has pitched in eight games for the Blue Jays this season and currently is with Triple-A Buffalo. Rene Tosoni, who played for the Twins back in 2011, backed him up with a three-run homer.
Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.