Baseball: Murakami, Yoshida power Japan to final WBC warm-up victory
Munetaka Murakami blasted a three-run first-inning homer and Masataka Yoshida drove in four runs as Samurai Japan cruised into the World Baseball Classic on a 9-1 win over the defending Japan Series champion Orix Buffaloes in its final warm-up game Tuesday.
The 23-year-old Murakami, who last year became Japan’s youngest Triple Crown-winning hitter, had struggled so far in the team’s warm-up games, but capped a four-run first-inning rally after being dropped down to the No. 6 slot in manager Hideki Kuriyama’s lineup at Kyocera Dome Osaka.
Kensuke Kondo and Shohei Ohtani got things started with ...