The official tournament starts tomorrow in Taiwan, although the first game will be played tonight Puerto Rico time.
Tokyo. Shohei Ohtani hit a pair of three-run home runs in the warmup for the World baseball classic to help Japan beat the Hanshin Tigers of the Central League 8-1 on Monday.
The Angels star fell to his knees in the third inning after hitting a home run to center off right-hander Hiroto Saiki. Ohtani singled to center again on the fifth hit by lefty Ren Tomida.
Ohtani excelled in his first at-bat and suggested that he might be tired of the time change after traveling from the United States.
Ohtani played his first game for Japan after an exhibition game against the Netherlands on November 13, 2016.
The World Classic begins Wednesday with two games in Taiwan: Cuba vs. Holland and Panama v. Taiwan. Japan will start against China at the Tokyo Dome on Thursday. Ohtani is expected to be Japan’s designated hitter. However, the match between Cuba and the Netherlands will start today, Tuesday, at 11:00 PM Puerto Rico time.
Japan won the first two tournaments in 2006 and 2009. The United States is the reigning champion after winning in 2017. The Dominican Republic is the favorite.
Author: Associated Press
Source: Prime Ahora