Team USA rides Suzuki to win

Team USA rides Suzuki to win

Kurt Suzuki just might be rethinking his greatest baseball moment.

Suzuki, a 2004 second-round draft pick of the Oakland Athletics, blasted a walk-off home run in the 10th inning Sunday as Team USA fended off Brazil, 8-7, in its second game of pool play at the 2006 Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Havana, Cuba.

A native of Hawaii, the 22-year-old catcher hit a 3-2 pitch from reliever Marcelo Arai over the left-field fence for the game-winner. He was mobbed by teammates as he reached the plate at the end of his only at-bat of the game.

Team USA took a 7-6 edge into the ninth, when manager Davey Johnson summoned Henry Owens, who recorded 20 saves while allowing just one homer in 40 innings for the Double-A Binghamton Mets. Owens promptly surrendered the lead on Tiago Magalhes' second homer of the day.

Brazil got an early jump on Team USA and starter Nick Adenhart in the top of the first. Adenhart walked leadoff batter Evaldo Yamoka before Ronald Ono reached on an error by first baseman Bryan LaHair. After recording a strikeout, Adenhart allowed an RBI single to Reinalo Sato.

Team USA threatened in the bottom of the first after Brazil starter Gilmar Pereira walked the bases loaded. The Americans came up empty, but Pereira couldn't escape trouble in the second. He again walked the bases loaded with two outs and surrendered a two-run single -- the U.S.' first hit -- to Mike Kinkade.

Adenhart settled down after the first but allowed a solo homer to Marcos Guimares in the fourth and a two-run blast by Magalhes in the fifth. Brazil led, 4-2, as Nic Ungs replaced Adenhart for the U.S.

Team USA wasted no time in regaining the advantage on LaHair's RBI triple and Chad Allen's two-run homer made it 5-4.

Brazil tied it again in the sixth on its fourth homer of the game, a solo blast off Ungs by Luis Camagro. The Brazilians broke the deadlock in the seventh against reliever J.B. Cox when Kinkade's error extended the inning and Camagro delivered an RBI single.

Again, Team USA showed its resilience when pinch-hitter Billy Butler connected for a two-run homer off reliever Marcio Sakane. The blast gave the Americans the 7-6 advantage they took to the ninth.

Reliever Jeff Farnsworth pitched a scoreless 10th and was credited with the victory. Arai worked 1 2/3 innings but suffered the loss after serving up Suzuki's homer.

Farnsworth was the only pitcher on either team who did not allow a run.

Allen, Butler and Kinkade each had a pair of RBIs for Team USA, which faces Aruba on Monday at 2 p.m. ET at Stadium Nelson Fernandez.

NOTES: U.S. pitchers recorded 13 strikeouts. ... The teams combined to leave 18 runners on base. ... In other tournament action, Cuba edged Panama, 7-6; Canada 6 got past Puerto Rico, 6-5; and Mexico defeated Venezuela, 5-4. ... Last month's All-Star Futures Games in Pittsburgh saw its first Brazilian participant, Anderson Gomes of the Chicago White Sox system. He is batting .250 with six homers and 29 RBIs for Class A Kannapolis.