The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Ohtani and Yoshida lift Japan over South Korea


TOKYO AND TAICHUNG, TAIWAN — Shohei Ohtani doubled and singled for his second straight two-hit game, and Japan overcame a three-run deficit to beat South Korea 13-4 Friday night for its second straight win at the World Baseball Classic.

Ohtani was intentiona­lly walked as Japan scored four runs in the third inning to take a 4-3 lead, doubled and scored in a two-run fifth and hit an RBI single in a five-run sixth. The two-way star is 4 for 7 with two doubles, three RBIS and four walks in Japan’s two games while allowing one hit over four scoreless innings on the mound.

Masataka Yoshida had three hits and five RBIS for Japan.

The Czech Republic defeated China 8-5 in the other Group B game as Martin Muzik hit a go-ahead, threerun homer following a double by his brother, Matej, in a four-run top of the ninth.

In Group A, Cuba beat Panama 13-4 as Yoán Moncada and Yadil Mujica drove in four runs each, and host Taiwan defeated Italy 11-7.

Japan 13, South Korea 4: South Korea fell to 0-2 after taking a three-run lead in the third off Yu Darvish.

Yoshida had three of Japan’s 13 hits and five RBIS.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida threw out the ceremonial first pitch, a sign of improving relations between the Asian neighbors. Kishida was a high school player and is a fan of the Central League’s Hiroshima Toyo Carp. The prime minister bounced his ceremonial pitch, which was scooped up by Japan manager Hideki Kuriyana.

Euiji Yang hit a two-run homer, and Jung Hoo Lee had an RBI single as South Korea jumped ahead.

Japan rallied in the bottom half on Lars Nootbaar’s run-scoring single and Kensuke Kondoh’s RBI double, which chased loser Kwang Hyun Kim. Ohtani was intentiona­lly walked by Tae-in Won and, one out later, Yoshida’s two-run single put Japan ahead for good at 4-3.

Kensuke Kondoh homered off Won leading off the fifth, and Yoshida’s sacrifice fly made it 6-3. Yoshida added an RBI single in the sixth and a bases-loaded walk in the seventh.

Darvish got the win, allowing three runs — two earned — and three hits in three innings. He was playing for Japan for the first time since 2009.

South Korea dropped to 0-2 for the second straight WBC following losses to Israel and the Netherland­s in 2017.

Cuba 13, Panama 4: Yadir Drake had four hits, and Moncada and Roel Santos three each as Cuba (1-2) rebounded from a 6-3, 10-inning loss to Italy.

Panama (1-2) overcame a 2-0 deficit with a four-run second, when Rubén Tejada hit a two-run homer, and Allen Córdoba had a tworun single.

Drake had an RBI single in a four-run sixth, Moncada followed with a go-ahead, tworun single that chased loser Matt Hardy, and Luis Robert had a run-scoring single for a 6-4 lead.

Moncada added a two-run single in a five-run seventh and walked with the bases loaded in a two-run eighth.

Taiwan 11, Italy 7: Kuochen Fan broke a 7-7 tie with a run-scoring infield single in the seventh off Joey Marciano, and Kungkuan Giljegilja­w hit a three-run homer in the eighth as host Taiwan overcame a three-run deficit and improved to 1-1.

Yu Chang hit a tying, tworun homer in the sixth off loser Stephen Woods Jr.

Winner Yen-ching Lu pitched two hitless innings of shutout ball, working around three walks

Italy built a 7-4 lead as Nicky Lopez had two hits and three RBIS, and Brett Sullivan had three hits.

The Netherland­s leads the group at 2-0, while Italy fell to 1-1.

Czech Republic 8, China 5: Martin Zervenka’s oneout walk off loser Hai-cheng Gong in the ninth started the go-ahead rally as the Czechs overcame a 5-4 deficit to win their WBC debut.

 ?? EUGENE HOSHIKO/AP ?? Japan’s Kensuke Kondoh and Shohei Ohtani celebrate after Kondoh’s solo homer Friday in a Pool B game against South Korea at the World Baseball Classic in Tokyo.
EUGENE HOSHIKO/AP Japan’s Kensuke Kondoh and Shohei Ohtani celebrate after Kondoh’s solo homer Friday in a Pool B game against South Korea at the World Baseball Classic in Tokyo.

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