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KC aide leads U.S. to World Cup gold

KC asst. manages U.S. to World Cup gold

KANSAS CITY -- The first thing that Royals manager Trey Hillman wanted to talk about on Sunday was Eddie Rodriguez and his team's World Cup championship in Nattuno, Italy.

Rodriguez, the Royals' special assignments coach, managed the United States to a 10-5 victory over Cuba in the gold medal game.

"I think it's outstanding for Eddie and Team USA," Hillman said. "I think it's an outstanding accomplishment, and it's obvious they made a great selection with his experience in international baseball. I'm just thrilled to death we'll get to congratulate him in New York; it'll be great to have him back."

The only Kansas City player on the team was infielder Tug Hulett, who belted a solo home run in the fifth inning to give the USA a 5-4 lead over Cuba.

"Tug had a real strong showing," Hillman said. "Eddie had some good players to work with and he had a lot of nice things to say on the MLB Network about the team chemistry and the atmosphere. Eddie deserves a lot of credit."

Former Royals pitcher Nate Field recorded the last out of the game against Cuba. Former Royals player and coach Jamie Quirk was Rodriguez's bench coach. Team USA, after losing its first game, finished the tourney with 14 straight victories.

"I'm proud for them and proud for our country," Hillman said.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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