[QODLink]
American Sport

Cuba stay unbeaten at World Baseball Classic

Cuba hold off two-time defending champions Japan to remain unbeaten heading into WBC second round.
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2013 15:48
Cuba and Japan have already qualified from Pool A Cuba next face Pool B runners-up the Netherlands and Japan will take on Taiwan [AFP]

Alfredo Despaigne hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning as Cuba beat two-time defending champions Japan 6-3 to finish first in Group A of the World Baseball Classic on Wednesday.

Despaigne's home run off reliever Takeru Imamura at Fukuoka Dome put the game out of reach and allowed Cuba to set up a second-round showdown with Group B runner-up the Netherlands on Friday.

Yasmany Tomas hit a solo homer to left in the bottom of the third to give Cuba a 1-0 lead. Frederich Cepeda doubled in another run in the fourth and Jose Abreu made it 3-0 on a single to left in the sixth that scored Luis Rivera from third.

Japan, who scored three runs in the ninth, will face Group B winner Taiwan in the second round at Tokyo Dome.

Japan continue to struggle for offence without their top players from Major League Baseball. The three runs in the ninth were more a result of poor pitching by Cuba's relievers, who issued three walks in the final inning.

Cuba, who routed China 12-0 on Monday, continued to display the type of offensive power that makes the 2006 runner-up a title contender this year.

The win was Cuba's first in four WBC games against Japan.

Cuba starter Wilber Perez picked up the win after holding Japan scoreless over three innings. Japan starter Kenji Otonari gave up one run on two hits in three innings to take the loss.

256

Source:
AP
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
Activists say 'Honor Diaries' documentary exploits gender-based violence to further an anti-Islamic agenda.
As Syria's civil war escalates along the Turkish border, many in Turkey are questioning the country's involvement.
Treatment for autism in the region has progressed, but lack of awareness and support services remains a challenge.
The past isn't far away for a people exiled from Crimea by Russia and the decades it took to get home.
join our mailing list