U.S. Wins Futures Game

PITTSBURGH-- The United States broke out some heavy lumber and defeated the World team 8-5 on Sunday in the eighth annual All-Star Futures Game at PNC Park. A pair of Kansas City Royals prospects, Billy Butler and Alex Gordon sparkled in the USA victory.

Butler hit a two-run homer and singled to earn MVP honors. Gordon added two RBIs for a U.S. squad.

"When you look at our roster, there's a lot of offensive potential," Butler said. "I knew if we got some good pitches to hit, we weren't going to miss many of them. The pitchers were only going one inning and usually when he's throwing just one inning, he has more life on his fastball.

"I just tried to do the best I could and it was great to be a part of this. You can't ever replace this."

The MVP of last year's Futures Game in Detroit, first baseman Justin Huber, is also in Kansas City's system at Triple-A Omaha.

"I hope the future is bright and I believe it is bright," Butler stated. "I believe we have some talent coming up. Just tell Kansas City fans to hold on for just a little bit."

Colorado's Joe Koshansky also homered for the United States, and former Oklahoma State quarterback Josh Fields a talented third base prospect with the World Series champion Chicago White Sox doubled and scored, hit an RBI single and drew a walk.

San Diego catcher George Kottaras homered and doubled for a World team and Seattle Mariners prospect Wladimir Balentien had a pair of RBI doubles.

Former Reds top pick Homer Bailey got the win despite allowing one run on two hits in an inning of work.

Koshansky's homer run was part of a five-run third inning that gave the U.S. a 7-1 edge.

Pittsburgh Pirates Triple-A reliever Josh Sharpless came on to a nice ovation in the fifth and pitched 1 1-3 perfect innings. Flashing a 99 mph fastball, Matt Lindstrom of the New York Mets struck out two in the seventh and final inning for the save.

"This was very exciting," Sharpless explained. "This was a great opportunity for me."

"I was floating out there," Lindstrom gushed. "I've never pitched in front of this many people and I had a great time."

Florida's Jose Garcia was charged with the loss after allowing two runs on two hits in one inning of work while Davis Romero of the Blue Jays was tagged for five runs on five hits in two-thirds of an inning.

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