(REUTERS) — Japan powered their way to victory over Cuba on Tuesday, while Israel took a giant step toward advancing at the World Baseball Classic with an offensive outburst of their own.
Japan, winners of the first two editions of the sport’s premier international tournament, entertained a crowd of 45,000 at the Tokyo Dome with home runs from Nobuhiro Matsuda and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo to open Pool B play with an 11-6 win.
Israel, who stunned hosts South Korea with a 10-inning victory in the tournament’s opening game on Monday, moved to 2-0 in Pool A play in Seoul with a 15-7 thrashing of Taiwan that virtually assured them of reaching Round Two in Tokyo. Taking charge from the start, Israel began the game with four consecutive hits and scored four runs in the top of the first. Starter Corey Baker held Taiwan hitless until the fourth.
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