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Japan beats Team USA, advances to Olympic baseball semifinals

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Japan beats Team USA, advances to Olympic baseball semifinals
Team USA pitcher Edwin Jackson Jr. allowed a walk-off single to Japan in the bottom of the 10th inning in a baseball quarterfinal at the 2020 Summer Games on Monday in Yokohama, Japan. Photo by WBSC

Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Japan edged Team USA in extra innings in a baseball quarterfinal at the 2020 Summer Games on Monday in Yokohama, Japan.

Japan advanced to the semifinals, while the Americans must win their next game to stay in medal contention in the double-elimination tournament.

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Former New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka started for Japan. The two-time All-Star allowed six hits and three runs in 3 2/3 innings. Team USA first baseman Triston Casas went went 2 for 4 with three RBIs in the loss.

Team USA held a 6-5 lead after the fifth inning, but Japan tied the game in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings. Japan won the game on a walk-off single from catcher Takuya Kai in the bottom of the 10th.

Neither team scored for the first two innings at Yokohama Stadium. Japan then took the lead when left fielder Masataka Yoshida smacked an RBI single to center field in the bottom of the third.

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Center fielder Yuki Yanagita plated Yoshida with another RBI single three at-bats later to push the lead to two runs.

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Team USA responded with a three-run fourth. Third baseman Todd Frazier plated Casas with an RBI double in the third at-bat of the inning.

Catcher Mark Kolozsvary then brought in Frazier with an RBI single. Shortstop Nick Allen plated Kolozsvary two at-bats later with an RBI double.

Japan shortstop Hayato Sakamoto drove in third baseman Munetaka Murakami with an RBI double in the bottom of the fourth, but Team USA responded with another three runs in the top of the fifth.

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Second baseman Eddy Alvarez and designated hitter Tyler Austin led off the inning with singles. Casas then smacked a three-run homer to left field to give Team USA a 6-3 edge.

Japan cut the deficit to one run in the bottom of the inning. Right fielder Seiya Suzuki led off with a solo homer to left field. Second baseman Ryosuke Kikuchi brought in Japan's fifth run with an RBI single.

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Japan tied the game on a Yanagita RBI groundout in the bottom of the ninth. Team USA could not score in the top of the 10th, despite the Olympic extra innings rule, which allows teams to start with runners on first and second base.

Pinch hitter Ryoya Kurihara moved Japan's extra runners over with a sacrifice bunt to leadoff the bottom of the 10th. Yanagita scored from third on Tykuya's single in the next at-bat.

Team USA starter Shane Baz allowed five hits and two runs in 2 2/3 innings in the loss. Kolozsvary recorded a game-high three hits for Team USA. Austin and Frazier joined Casas with two hits apiece for the Americans.

Japan faces South Korea in its semifinal game. Team USA, which entered Monday with a 2-0 record, faces the winner of the Israel and Dominican Republic game to determine which team moves on.

The winner of that game faces the loser of the Japan/South Korea game to determine who faces the winner of the Japan/South Korea game in the gold medal game.

Team USA's next game airs at 11 p.m. EDT Tuesday on NBCOlympics.com.

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Greece's Paraskevi Papachristou competes during the triple jump qualifier on July 30. Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI | License Photo

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