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U.S. bests World in Futures Game

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Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - 's solo homer in the sixth inning snapped a tie and powered the United States team to a 3-2 victory over the World in the All-Star Futures Game at U.S. Cellular Field on Sunday. This event kick-starts the major league All-Star break which begins after all games are final on Sunday. It features minor league players who are affiliated with major league teams, broken into two teams -- one full of players born in the U.S. and the other made up of players born outside the States -- playing in a seven-inning game. Smitherman -- a Double-A Cincinnati prospect -- finished 2-for-3 at the plate with a double. Grady Sizemore also homered for the U.S. squad, which avenged a loss to the World team in last year's event. Sizemore -- the game's MVP and a Double-A star in the Cleveland organization -- was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI. Detroit ' Double-A pitcher Preston Larrison picked up the win by getting the last out of the sixth inning. Royce Ring -- a prospect -- yielded a hit but retired the last batter to earn the save. The World scored in the top of the first when Roman Nivar -- a 23-year-old prospect in the ' organization -- doubled, stole third and scored on Franklin Gutierrez's two-out single. Sizemore helped the U.S.team tie the contest with an RBI single in the bottom half of the frame. He later put his team ahead with a solo home run in the third, giving the U.S. a 2-1 lead. Rios -- a right-handed hitting outfielder in the ' organization -- went the other way and sent a shot that just cleared the fence in right field to event the score in the top of the fifth. Smitherman snapped that tie, however, by belting Travis Blackley's offering just over the wall in left field for the winning run. Blackley -- a Double-A ' prospect -- was saddled with the loss. The U.S. team was managed by former Chicago catcher Carlton Fisk, while Tony Oliva helmed the World squad.

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