Ohtani leads Japan in World Classic, Bogaerts lifts Dutch
TOKYO (AP) — Shohei Ohtani hit a two-run double off the left-field wall, allowed one hit over four innings and got the win, leading Japan over China 8-1 on Thursday night in its opener at the World Baseball Classic.
The Los Angeles Angels two-way star, struck out five and walked none in the Group B game at the Tokyo Dome. His fourth-inning double off Weiyi Wang gave Japan a 3-0 lead.
Ohtani retired his first 10 batters before Weiyi Wang's single in the fourth. Ohtani threw 32 of 49 pitches for strikes.
In the other Group B game, Robbie Perkins and Robert Glendinning hit three-run homers to lead Australia over South Korea 8-7. In Group A, Xander Bogaerts and Jurickson Profar homered as the Netherlands beat Panama 3-1 and Italy beat Cuba 6-3 behind Nicky Lopez's two-run single that capped a four-run 10th inning.
Before a crowd of 41,616 in the Tokyo Dome, Japan went ahead in the first when the St. Louis Cardinals' Lars Nootbar singled leading off and loser Xiang Wang walked three straight batters, including two-time Central League MVP Munetaka Murakami with the bases loaded.
Nootbar made a sprawling catch in center on Jinjun Luo in the second.
Pei Liang cut the gap to 3-1 with a sixth-inning homer off Shosei Togo, but Shugo Maki homered in the seventh against Changlong Su and Takuya Kai capped a four-run eighth with a two-run double after Tetsuto Yamada hit an RBI single and Sosuke Genda walked with the bases loaded.
Japan, the 2006 and 2009 champion, plays South Korea on Friday while China takes on the Czech Republic.
AUSTRALIA 8, SOUTH KOREA 7
TOKYO (AP) — Perkins gave Australia an 8-4 lead with an eighth-inning homer off Hyeon-Jong Yang, who threw only seven pitches and got no one out.
Logan Wade's second-inning sacrifice fly and Kennelly's solo homer off Young Pyo Ko in the fifth built a 2-0 lead but Euiji Yang hit a three-run homer against Daniel McGrath in the bottom half.
ByungHo Park had RBI double in the sixth that made it 4-2, a play originally called a home run before an umpire review. Glendinning homered off loser Won Jung Kim in the seventh and Perkins against Hyeon-Jong Yang in the eighth
Steven Kent, Will Sherriff and Sam Holland combined for five walks and a hit batter in a three-run bottom of the eighth, when Holland struck out Sung Bum Na to strand two runners.
Jon Kennedy, the fourth of nine Australia pitchers, got the win.
NETHERLANDS 3, PANAMA 1
TAICHUNG, Taiwan (AP) — The Netherlands, after beating Cuba in the opener, won its second game in two days.
Bogaerts homered in the third off loser Jaime Barría, and Profar went deep in the fifth against Alberto Guerrero.
Erasmo Caballero's RBI single in sixth against Mike Bolsenbroek pulled Panama to 2-1, and Bogaerts doubled in the eighth and scored on a Alberto Baldonado's wild pitch.
Winner Shairon Martis allowed three hits in 3 1/3 scoreless innings.
ITALY 6, CUBA 3, 10 innings
TAICHUNG, Taiwan (AP) — Cuba dropped to 0-2.
Brett Sullivan hit a go-ahead sacrifice fy in the sixth off Naykel Cruz and Miles Mastrobuoni added an RBI double in the seventh against Liván Moinelo.
Lorenzo Quintana pulled Cuba to 2-1 in the bottom half with an RBI single against Vinny Nittoli, and Erisbel Arruebarrena hit a tying single in the eighth off winner Matt Festa that drove in Alfredo Despaigne.
John Valente hit a tiebreaking single in the 10th off loser Raidel Martínez.
Italy is 1-0 and faces winless Taiwan on Friday. Cuba plays Panama. ___
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The Associated Press