Japan, Australia, Netherlands win in World Baseball Classic Retired Pujols believes moving into coaching `will happen’

TOKYO – Shohei Otani allowed one hit in the four innings he pitched, struck out five and became Thursday’s pitcher winner in Japan’s 8-1 victory over China in Group B at the World Baseball Classic.

Otani also doubled off the left field wall in the fourth, scoring two goals in the Tokyo Dome to extend Japan’s lead to 3-0.

The fans got what they came for – Otani served, beat and did not disappoint 41,616 who came.

Japan ended up winning the game closer than expected until the hosts opened it up late.

Apart from Otani, the fan favorite was Lars Notable from the St. Louis Cardinals, who made a sweeping catch in center and also led forward and hit the first pitch he saw for a single in the first.

China cut it to 3-1 on Pei Liang’s sixth home run, but Japan brought him back in the seventh to make it 4-1 thanks to Shugo Maki’s homer.

The Japanese added four runs in the eighth to stop the game.

Japan will next play South Korea on Friday, while China will play the Czech Republic.


TOKYO (AP) — Robbie Perkins hit one of Australia’s three homers to beat South Korea in Group B at the Tokyo Dome.

Australia, leading 5–4 at the top of eighth, stopped the game with a three-point shot from Perkins. The explosion came from Hyun-Jong Young, who went into the innings with relief, made just seven innings and didn’t hit anyone.

Australia took a 2–0 lead in the fifth, but South Korea rallied with three runs in the bottom half of the half. It happened during Eiji Yang’s three-time home run to left field.

South Korea added another run in the sixth. But Australia scored three goals in the seventh to take the lead.

The seventh inning also featured a three-run homer off Robbie Glendinning, with Australia living off their power play.

South Korea scored three points in their eighth – five passes and one hit – cut the lead to 8-7 but failed to break through in the ninth.


TAICHUNG, Taiwan (AP) — The Netherlands beat Cuba in the first leg to win their second game in two days in Group A.

Xander Bogaerts homered in the third to give the Dutch a 1-0 lead. Yurikson Profar added to a lead in fifth with another one-run home run.

Erasmo Caballero of Panama reduced the score to 2-1 in the sixth leg, which was scored by José Ramos.

The Netherlands continued their last run in the top eight when Bogarts scored on a wild serve from Alberto Baldonado.

ITALY 6, CUBA 3 (10 innings)

TAICHUNG, Taiwan (AP) — Cuba lost their second game in Group A to Italy in a disappointing start for a country that was once Latin America’s leading power.

Brett SullivanA sacrifice in the sixth scored against Sala Frelica to give Italy a 1-0 lead. The Italians made it 2-0 in the seventh on a double Miles Mastrobuoni who scored Nicky Lopez.

Cuba cut the score to 2-1 in their half of the seventh on an RBI single from Lorenzo Quintana who scored against Erisbel Arruebarrena.

In the eighth, Arruebarrena tried to save Cuba and equalized with a single goal from Alfredo Despain.

The game went to additional opportunities, with Italy scoring four goals in 10th place to take the win. Cuba picked up one at the bottom of the 10th.

Italy will play Taiwan 1-0 on Friday without a win. Cuba will play with Panama.

Albert Pujols is open to moving into coaching. In the end. Just not yet.

The retired slugger popped into the St. Louis Cardinals’ spring training camp on Thursday to visit former teammates, and while he believes a Major League Baseball coaching or other role will come to fruition, he’s reluctant to give a schedule. .

“Look, 23 years old and 24 years old, following the schedule from February to October is tough,” said Pujols, who retired in October after 22 years split mostly between the Cardinals and the Los Angeles Angels. “Now I have the freedom to have my own schedule. That’s what I’m grateful for.”

Pujols spent a week as a special assistant with the Angels in Arizona shortly after camp opened, but that was just for fun. He is retiring after a career that ended with 703 home runs, fourth on the career list.

It is almost certain that a future Hall of Famer will probably not have to work hard to find a job when the time comes. And yet he is in no hurry. There is too much golf to play golf and many members of his family cannot come to visit just yet. He even appeared in the NBA Celebrity game as part of All-Star Weekend last month.

Pujols stressed that he is not going to put a stamp on when the time comes to return to the game in higher quality.

“If it happens next year, that’s great,” he said. “Knowing myself, I think I’ll let that moment come and go back, if it’s something that I think will work, I will definitely do it.”


phildelphia phillies star Bryce Harper thinks he can be ready for the All-Star break as he recovers from Tommy John’s off-season surgery.

The two-time National League MVP said Thursday that the team solidified in mid-July as a potential target date for Harper’s return.

Harper spent most of last season as a forward for Philadelphia after injuring his right elbow in April. He underwent surgery in November, shortly after helping the Phillies reach the World Series for the first time since 2009.

30-year-old Harper intends to play as a striker whenever he returns to the squad. Returning to the right margin may take significantly longer.

“Of course I want to play in the outfield,” Harper said, “I want to go back there and be in front of the fans on right field and do my job and hear it from all the teams (fans) in the league. “.


The New York Yankees will have to wait a bit for their investment in Carlos Rodon to pay off.

General manager Brian Cashman said the veteran left-handed pitcher will start the season on the injured list with a strained left forearm. Rodon won’t cast for 7-10 days, negating any chance he’ll be ready by opening day.

The Yankees signed Rodon to a six-year, $162 million offseason contract after Rodon had back-to-back All-Star seasons, first with the Chicago White Sox in 2021 and then with the San Francisco Giants last summer.


Hunter Green will be the starting day for the Cincinnati Reds.

The 23-year-old gets the nod as he starts his second season in the majors.

“It means peace. It’s a huge honor given Cincinnati’s history,” said Green, who went 5-13 in 24 starts in his rookie season. “This is a huge honor for our talents, Nick, Graham, Sessa (Louis). Knowing the history and potential, we must return the team (after 100 defeats). This is a baseball city. We want to win as much as the fans to bring that atmosphere back to the city.”

Green went 7 1/3 innings clean against Pittsburgh in May and lost, and he led the National League in home runs allowed before missing 43 games with a strained right shoulder.


San Diego starter Michael Wacha ran three innings against Cleveland, giving up two unearned runs. Wacha, who didn’t sign with San Diego until last month, didn’t worry about taking time to pick up speed.

“This is my 10th spring training, I sort of figured it out,” Vacha said after the walk. “Obviously there have been some changes here and there over the years, but even (before signing) I kept doing it.”

He gave up three hits and struck out two, and the runs went unearned.

Vacha, 31, was 11-2 with a 3.32 ERA in 23 starts for Boston last season.

Reliever Josh Hader followed Vacha to the mound. The powerhouse southpaw is starting his first full season in San Diego after being signed from Milwaukee.

Throwing a few sliders on his second outing, Hader gave up two hits and a walk, but no runs. He threw one wild pitch and struck out one.

“It was one of my goals to do a lot of reps with this slider,” Hader said.

He said he threw more fastballs on his first outing, so this time he focused on his slider. “Try to get them for hitting and see how the hitters react and see if I want to work on it more.

“In general, there was more good than bad.”


Seems like there’s plenty of life left Rich HillLeft hand on the eve of his 43rd birthday.

The 17-year veteran led Pittsburgh to one run and two hits on Thursday in a 10-7 loss to Detroit. Hill, who turns 43 on Saturday, has been mixing speed and hand angles to keep the Tigers off balance.

Hill’s fastball hit 89 mph. His set of broken balls dropped to 68 miles per hour. He caught up with Detroit’s Justin-Henry Malloy in three innings in the second round and then fanned him. Kerry Carpenter on a slider that hit 68.8 mph on radar.

The Pirates signed Hill to an $8 million contract. a one-year contract, hoping he would provide a boost both on the hill and at the club for a team littered with young players, especially in the starting rotation.


supplying the Phillies Gregory Soto threw 24 innings in one inning during a simulated game the day after showing up for spring practice. Soto’s arrival from the Dominican Republic was delayed due to visa issues.

The two-time All-Star came from the Detroit Tigers in a five-player deal in January.

“I knew I was on a new team and I wanted to get to know the new staff, new teammates,” Soto said through a translator. “So the longer I was in the DR, the less time I had left here.”

Soto was able to train at the Phillies Academy in the Dominican Republic, which is about an hour from his home.

A visa delay prevented Soto from participating in the World Baseball Classic this month.

“It hurts a little now,” Soto said. “But I know it’s my priority.”


Aaron Boone still has…


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