Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images
Salt Lake Bees infielder Matt Brown of the U.S. connects off a pitch by Japan's Tsuyoshi Wada for a three-run home run in the third inning of their men's bronze medal game against Japan Saturday.

BEIJING — The United States baseball team sent America's pastime off into a bronze-colored Olympics sunset, as the U.S. posted an 8-4 win over Japan in Saturday's bronze-medal game.

Baseball is making its Summer Games curtain call, having been dropped — along with softball — from the schedule when the Olympics resume in 2012 in London.

And two members of the Salt Lake Bees, who will be returning soon to help their minor-league team in its playoff run, played key roles in the American victory.

With the U.S. trailing 4-1 in the third inning, infielder Matt Brown — who has played first, third and designated hitter during the Beijing Olympics — clubbed a three-run home run to tie the game at 4-all.

Brown also led off the Americans' four-run fifth inning with a double, which included Taylor Teagarden's two-run double and Jason Donald's two-run homer, when the U.S. its first lead in commanding style.

And pitcher Kevin Jepsen, Brown's Bees teammate, came in relief in the eighth inning to protect the 8-4 lead.

Throwing late-inning heat clocked in the mid-90s mph — or 150-plus kilometers per hour when one's pitching in China — Jensen shut down and shut out the Japanese in the final two innings.

He worked himself out of a ninth-inning jam with runners on second and third before getting the final groundout.


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