Shohei Ohtani dazzled with the bat and from the pitcher’s mound to help Japan win 8-1 over China in the first game of Pool B of the World Baseball Classic.
The Anaheim Angels pitcher started for the Samurai in his debut and pitched again at the Tokyo Dome in Japan after 6 years. In the first inning he retired all 3 batters and struck out two.
The Japanese offense scored the first run in the same first chapter taking advantage of the lack of control of the Chinese starter who gave a walk with the bases loaded. Despite that, he only allowed one run in that inning.
Ohtani continued from the intractable mound against China’s offense and went through the first three innings without getting a hit. and only one player was able to get a fly ball to the outfield that Lars Nootbar saved with a great play in center field.
The game continued 1-0 in the first inning. Ohtani pitched 4 innings, allowing just one hit and striking out 5 batters. In the fifth inning, batter Ohtani hit a long double to drive in two runs and open the scoring 3-1.
Ohtani was batsman for the rest of the game. Japan’s third bat finished 2-for-4 with a double, 2 RBIs and 2 walks. In the sixth inning, Pei Liang hit a long home run to score China’s only run on the scoreboard.
Japan managed to open the scoring in the eighth inning with a 4-run rally that started with a hit by Ohtani and then by Takuya Kai he gave a double that drove in two runs and sentenced the game in favor of the Japanese.
The Japanese team had 9 hits and received a total of 16 tickets. to make a total of 8 races. China only made one run off Pei Liang’s home run and they had three hits.
Japan’s second game will be against South Korea, which they lost to Australia 8-7 in their debut. Yu Darvish of the San Diego Padres is expected to start for the Japanese.
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