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Japan hits three HRs, beats China 18-2

Updated: March 3, 2006, 11:47 AM ET
By Jim Allen | Special to ESPN.com

TOKYO -- The World Baseball Classic's first day opened with a nail-biter and finished with a bloodletting as Japan crushed China 18-2 on Friday in Pool A play at Tokyo Dome.

After Korea overcame Chinese Taipei 2-0 in the opener, the second game followed suit for four innings as Japan took an early lead only to see China fight back with a two-run homer to tie it off tough right-hander Koji Uehara.

Light-hitting Japan infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka broke the tie with a three-run homer in the ...

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