Jim Abbott, 19, the University of Michigan pitcher born without a right hand, held the Cuban team to a run on three hits in five innings yesterday to help the U.S. team to an 8-3 victory in Havana.
He retired the side in order three times and got a standing ovation when he left the mound.
The Cubans had won the first two games of the five-game series. Officials said a U.S. team hadn't won in Havana since 1960 and hadn't beaten the Cubans since the Simon Bolivar Games in 1985 in Caracas. The teams will play Game 4 this afternoon in Artimesa. The series is a warm-up for the Pan American games next month in Indianapolis . . .
The Minnesota Twins retired Rod Carew's number, causing him to remember another Sunday 10 years ago when he played before 46,000 fans who all were wearing his No. 29.
"It was just uncanny," he said. In that game, June 26, 1977, he had two singles, a double and a home run in five trips, batting in six runs in a 19-12 victory over the Chicago White Sox. It was jersey day at old Metropolitan Stadium and all the jerseys had his number.
"Everytime I did something," he remembered, "everybody cheered, and I started to get embarrassed. I would get to first base and I would look down on the ground and I wouldn't want to look up. I tried to play it down as much as I could, but the fans wouldn't let me."
Fans in Minneapolis cheered him again yesterday and he ended the afternoon by wishing he were still playing.
"I know right now that I could still go out and play," he said. "I know that I could hit."