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U.S. beats Japan 8-4 to pocket Olympic baseball bronze medal
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17:45, August 23, 2008


The United States beat Japan 8-4 here Saturday to take home bronze medal of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games baseball tournament.

Japan's Araki Masahiro opened the scoring with a solo home run in the first inning, while Matt Laporta of the United States levelled it by the end of the second inning. Japan reclaimed the lead in the third inning when Aoki Norichika hit a three-run homer over the leftfield fence.

The United States retaliated shortly as Matt Brown hit the team's first three-run homer. The U.S. team then pulled in front 6-4 in the fifth inning and extended the lead to 8-4 to secure the medal.


"It feels really good. We are fortunate to get it, it's a blessing. We finally started hitting the ball and I thought we pitched well the whole game," U.S. player Matt Brown said after the match.

U.S. team manager Davey Johnson said that baseball is a big business in the United States and many good players from the Major League have club matches to play during the Olympic Games time.


On the Japanese side, team manager Senichi Hoshino said he was disappointed with the result.

"I'm sorry we didn't get the gold. Japanese fans were looking forward to the gold medal but we didn't bring it back. I feel sorry about this. We have never experienced such a tough time before," he said.

The gold medal match is slated for Saturday evening between Cuba and South Korea.

Source: Xinhua

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1 China 48 17 27 92/td>
2 USA 31 36 36 103
4 Russia 19 20 23 62
3 Great Britain 18 13 14 45
5 Germany 15 10 15 40
6 Australia 13 14 16 43
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