<
>

Yamada hits 2 home runs to lead Japan over Cuba in WBC

TOKYO -- Tetsuto Yamada hit two home runs to lead Japan to an 8-5 win over Cuba in the World Baseball Classic on Tuesday.

Seiichi Uchikawa broke a 5-5 tie on a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning and Yamada made it 8-5 with a two-run shot to center field at Tokyo Dome.

Yamada also hit a leadoff homer in the first inning.

"I wasn't pleased with my batting in the first four games," Yamada said. "I was determined to do better today. I felt good in batting practice and felt this could be my day."

Two-time champion Japan improved to 2-0 in Pool E and can advance to the March 20-22 championship round in Los Angeles with a win over Israel (1-1) on Wednesday. The top two teams in the group advance.

The Netherlands (1-1) faces Cuba (0-2) in Wednesday's other game. Cuba must win and get help to advance.

Cuba took a 4-2 lead in the fourth on Victor Mesa's single to left. Japan tied it in the fifth on RBIs by Norichika Aoki and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, who had three hits.

Each team scored a run in the sixth.