Olympics Briefs | Baseball: U.S. team beats Canada, loses to South Korea, loses tiebreaker against Cuba
Terry Tiffee doubled in the go-ahead run with two outs in the seventh, Brian Barden homered and tied the game with his seventh-inning double...
BEIJING — Terry Tiffee doubled in the go-ahead run with two outs in the seventh, Brian Barden homered and tied the game with his seventh-inning double and the U.S. baseball team rallied from a four-run deficit to beat Canada 5-4 in Olympic baseball Saturday.
The U.S. lost its opener 8-7 to South Korea and then a demoralizing 5-4, 11-inning defeat to defending champion Cuba on Friday.
The game against Cuba, tied at 3 after 10 innings, yielded the first Olympic case of a quirky new tiebreaker.
The unusual tiebreaker — if teams are tied after 10 innings, each half-inning begins with runners on first and second and no outs; in the 11th, managers can start their lineup at any place — had already added a layer of intrigue by the time Jayson Nix led off the bottom of the 11th with the U.S. trailing 5-3.
Nix squared to bunt, and Pedro Luis Lazo, the brawny Cuban pitcher, threw an up-and-in pitch that deflected off the barrel of the bat and hit Nix in the eye. Nix crumpled to the ground. Nix, a Colorado Rockies prospect, had a tear in his left upper eyebrow and will not play the rest of the Games.
Nadal reaches tennis final
On an eventful Friday that went well into the wee hours of Saturday at the Olympic Tennis Complex here, the lone constant seemed to be Rafael Nadal.
The Spaniard will become No. 1 in the world Monday, ending Roger Federer's four-year run. And by that time, he may also be an Olympic champion.
Nadal's opponent in Sunday's final will be Chilean Fernando Gonzalez, who outlasted James Blake of the United States in a match that went 2 hours 52 minutes, was won at 4-6, 7-5, 11-9, and created much controversy afterward with Blake's statement that Gonzalez failed to admit when a ball hit him and instead took the point.
In doubles, Swiss superstar Federer teamed with Stanislas Wawrinka to knock out top-seeded Americans Bob and Mike Bryan 7-6 (8-6), 6-4.
Still in the running for gold were the Williams sisters, who got into a Saturday semifinal in doubles with a 6-4, 6-0 ouster of Russians Vera Zvonareva and Elena Vesnina.
Rocky win for U.S. women
After three straight blowouts, it took a half for the women's basketball team to get going and beat Spain. Tina Thompson scored nine of her 17 points during the decisive third quarter run and Lisa Leslie added 14 points and 11 rebounds to help the U.S. top Spain 93-55.
The Americans had won their first three games by an average of 47 points, putting each game away by the half. On Friday night, the Americans led by just five at halftime, 39-34, and for the game they turned the ball over a tournament-high 19 times.
"Spain's a good team, they came out really well in the first half," said Diana Taurasi, who had 12 points for the U.S. "In the second half we came out defensively and took care of what we had to."
U.S. softball keeps rolling
Jessica Mendoza hit her third homer in two days and Jennie Finch pitched five shutout innings as the U.S. women cruised to a 7-0 win over Chinese Taipei on Saturday to run its Olympic winning streak to 19. On Friday, the Americans first beat Japan, hitting an Olympic-record four home runs on the way to a 7-0 victory. Then the United States came back to beat Canada in a game that was interrupted by rain on Thursday. Canada arrived with a 1-0 fourth-inning lead Friday; the Americans left with an 8-1 victory.
• Several members of the U.S. track team experienced food poisoning at the team's pre-Olympic training center in Dalian, about 300 miles east of Beijing, according to a coach for three Olympians and a doctor for one of the athletes. Coach John Cook said he was not certain what caused the outbreak, but he said potential sources were tap water used to wash lettuce and oil purchased locally.
• Keli Smith scored in the opening minute and the U.S. women's field hockey team defeated New Zealand 4-1 for its first win at the Olympics. The victory kept the Americans in contention for a berth in the medal round with one game remaining in pool play.
• Americans Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers have advanced to the quarterfinals in beach volleyball.
• The Baltimore Ravens are urging fans attending Saturday night's NFL exhibition game not to leave early. Baltimore area swimmer Michael Phelps is scheduled to swim his final race at the Beijing Olympics after the game ends, and the Ravens have been granted permission by NBC to show the race live on the stadium SmartVision boards.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.