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WBC: Japan 10, Netherlands 6

March 12, 2013 at 10:00 AM   |   Comments

TOKYO, March 12 (UPI) -- Shinnosuke Abe hit two home runs Tuesday in an eight-run rally that carried Japan to a 10-6 World Baseball Classic win over Netherlands.

Abe opened Japan's second with a home run and finished the inning's scoring with a three-run homer.

Both teams will advance to the WBC semifinals in San Francisco. As the Pool 1 winner, however, Japan will play Sunday in the first semifinal against the Pool 2 runner-up. Netherlands draws the Pool 2 winner for a game Monday. The WBC title game is March 19.

Pool 2 play, a double-elimination round, begins Tuesday with Italy playing Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico going against the United States.

Andrelton Simmons opened the game with a home run for the Netherlands but Japanese starter Kenji Otonari (1-0) didn't allow another hit in his three innings and three pitchers teamed for three more innings of one-hit relief.

Japan sent 11 batters to the plate in the second to beat David Bergman (0-1), who was charged with seven runs. Abe's lead-off home run dropped into the right-field seats. Nobuhiro Matsuda knocked in a run and Hisayoshi Chono later chipped in a three-run double that made the score 5-1. Abe's second homer came off reliever Jonathan Isenia.

The Netherlands scratched out five runs over the seventh and eighth innings, pulling within 8-6 but Japan pushed its lead back to six runs when Chono singled in a pair of runs.

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