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Japan Beats Mexico To Win Group A At The Olympics



After needing a furious rally to win its opener, Japan had no such trouble in its second game of the Tokyo Olympics.

Tetsuto Yamada and Hayato Sakamoto both homered and Japan cruised past Mexico, 7-4, on Saturday to clinch the best record in Group A.

Yamada broke it open with a three-run homer in the fourth and added an RBI single in the eighth to cap the scoring. He finished 2-for-4 with four RBIs. Sakamoto went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and catcher Takuya Kai went 3-for-4 with an RBI.

Righthander Masato Morishita pitched five innings and allowed two runs to earn the win for Japan. Lefthander Juan Oramas took the loss for Mexico after allowing four hits and two runs in three innings.

Mexico briefly held a 1-0 lead after Joey Meneses singled home Isaac Rodriguez in the bottom of the first inning, but it didn’t last long. Kai’s two-out RBI single in the top of the second tied the score at 1-1 and Japan took the lead for good on Hideto Asamura’s RBI groundout in the third inning.

Yamada followed with his three-run blast in the fourth, and Mexico never got within three runs again.

Meneses added a two-run homer in the eighth and finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs for Mexico. Rodriguez reached base and scored twice out of the leadoff spot.

Mexico's 4-5-6 hitters Adrian Gonzalez, Danny Espinosa and Efren Navarro combined to go 1-for-12 with five strikeouts.

Japan (2-0) finished in first place in Group A. The Dominican Republic (1-1) finished second and Mexico (0-2) finished third.

Japan will face USA in the knockout stage on Monday. Mexico will face Israel, which went 0-2 in Group B, in an elimination game on Sunday.

Samurai Japan

Japan Tops USA For Olympic Baseball Gold

It took bringing the Olympics coming to baseball-crazy Japan to get the sport re-entered into the Olympics after a two Olympics-long hiatus. And fittingly, baseball’s return was celebrated by Japan winning its long-desired first baseball gold medal.

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