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Japan beats China at WBC

Fukuoka, Japan (Sports Network) - Kenta Maeda tossed five scoreless innings and Yoshio Itoi knocked in three runs, helping Japan take a 5-2 decision over China in the World Baseball Classic.

Maeda (1-0) gave up one hit while striking out six for the two-time WBC champs.

Seiichi Uchikawa and Sho Nakata each had two hits and an RBI for Japan, which improved to 2-0 in Pool A.

Ray Chang had an RBI for China, which scored twice in the ninth inning. Xia Luo (0-1) allowed one run on three hits over 3 2/3 innings to take the loss.

Japan got on the board in the second inning. Itoi worked a one-out walk, stole second and scored on Nakata's single to left.

In the fifth inning, Japan tacked on four more runs. With men on the corners and one out, Uchikawa hit an RBI single to right. Shinnosuke Abe followed with a walk to load the bases. Itoi cleared the bases with a double to center field.

China scored a pair of runs off Tetsuya Yamaguchi in the ninth. Weiqiang Meng and Xiao Cui started the frame with back-to-back singles. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third. Yamaguchi uncorked another wild pitch and Meng crossed the plate. Ray Chang's RBI groundout accounted for the final margin.

Japan next faces Cuba on Wednesday, while China (0-1) plays Cuba on Monday.

03/03 08:54:54 ET