Japan blasts Mexico to finish 3rd at Premier 12
The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun

Tetsuto YAMADA (Tokyo Yakult Swallows) homered in the first inning, then belted the first of three two-run shots in the second

Japan made Mexico bear the brunt of the lingering frustration from its shocking semifinal loss at the Premier12 tournament.

Tetsuto Yamada hit two of Samurai Japan’s five home runs as the host nation routed Mexico 11-1 in the third-place playoff on Saturday afternoon at Tokyo Dome in a game ended in the seventh inning by the mercy rule.

Shogo Akiyama’s two-run homer with no outs in the bottom of the seventh provided the 10-run margin to secure the victory and the bronze medal.

“Two days ago we had a crushing loss, and it was tough to bounce back,” Japan manager Hiroki Kokubo said. “But we were able to, as many fans came to Tokyo Dome to see us. I’m glad we could win with a called game.”

Yamada homered in the first inning, then belted the first of three two-run shots — all into the left field seats — in the second as Japan exploded for seven runs to take an 8-0 lead. Sho Nakata, whose RBI single beat Mexico 6-5 in the group stage, and Nobuhiro Ma- tsuda also homered.

Shota Takeda and Tomoyuki Sugano, who earned the win, both allowed one hit over three innings. Yasuaki Yamasaki tossed a perfect seventh inning.

Juan Perez hit a solo homer for Mexico in the sixth.

In the final Saturday night, South Korea faced the United States. In Thursday’s semifinal, South Korea rallied for four runs in the ninth inning to stun Japan 4-3. The United States topped Mexico 6-1 on Friday
(Read the full story on The Yomiuri Shimbun)