Japan defeats Cuba in series opener
FUKUOKA (Kyodo) -- Japan held Cuba to three hits in a 2-0 victory on Friday in the opener of a two-game series between teams headed toward a World Baseball Classic collision in March.
Light-hitting catcher Ginjiro Sumitani homered and three Japan pitchers retired six straight batters apiece as Koji Yamamoto won his debut as Japan manager. The Cubans, now in the buildup to their domestic season, executed poorly and it cost them.
"They (Cuba's batters) were swinging the way we imagined they would, although they were obviously not in mid-season form," Yamamoto said. "We didn't execute when we did get runners on. We'll need to do better."
(Read full story on The Mainichi Newspaper)