LaRoche Swings His Bat in Team USA Win

Andy LaRoche knows the Dodgers are busy talking to other teams about a third baseman with a big bat. Right now, he's concentrating on showing them they have one right on their own roster.

LaRoche is playing third for Team USA which is currently involved in the World Cup being held in Taiwan. Thursday, he at least convinced the pitchers from Panama that he is a hitter of note.

With LaRoche providing the impetus, USA blew Panama away 7-0. That was its second win in a row in the tournament although in later play, they suffered their first defeat when Italy surprised them 2-1.

LaRoche got them going against Panama in the first inning when he came up after a two-out single and a walk to fellow Dodger Delwyn Young. He ripped a single to plate the initial run.

He got his second chance in the next inning, again with two out. This time he doubled for a pair of runs. In the sixth he did the same, a double that scored two more. Three hits, two of them doubles and five RBI. A pretty good day's work.

Against Italy, it was former Dodger Justin Ruggiano who led the USA hitting as he went yard for the sole run they managed. He also singled and walked twice.

In other play, onetime Dodger outfielder Chin-Feng Chen homered twice as host Taiwan crushed South Africa 16-1.