Once again the US effort was spearheaded by Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, who were seven under par in 12 holes as they thrashed Lee Westwood and Luke Donald 7&6.
Ian Poulter and Justin Rose won their second foursomes point for Europe, but they were made to fight right to the end by Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson as their three-hole lead was whittled down before a par on the last gave them a one-hole victory.
Nicolas Colsaerts, hero of the first day fourballs for Europe, came back to earth with a bump - and a raft of missed putts - as he and Sergio Garcia lost 2&1 to Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner. In a cruel end to the match, Colsaerts fired into the water on the 17th just after Garcia had chipped in for a birdie on the 16th to cut the deficit to one hole.
The final match had looked like going to the Americans from the moment Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker, but Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell finally made their first birdies of the day on 14 and 16 to help take the game down the last.
But there was to be no miracle finish: Furyk's shot from a fairway bunker set up a par to secure the victory, and the American side is now red hot favourite to regain the Ryder Cup.