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Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Japan beats Canada for baseball bronze

Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece -- Kenji Jojima hit a two-run home run and Tsuyoshi Wada struck out six batters in five solid innings, leading Japan to an 11-2 victory over Canada for the bronze medal on Wednesday.

Australia and Cuba played later for the gold.

Jojima put Japan ahead 2-0 in the first, driving a two-out homer off Mike Johnson, and Takuya Kimura hit a two-run single as Japan scored four runs in the third. Jojima added an RBI double to make it 7-0 in the fourth.

He finished with four RBIs as Japan collected 13 hits off six Canadian pitchers.

Wada allowed two runs on four hits and walked two. He gave up a solo homer by Canada's Jeremy Ware in the fifth. Hiroki Kuroda pitched three scoreless innings in relief and Masahide Kobayashi threw a perfect ninth.

Japan, disappointed by a fourth-place finish in Sydney, sent a roster loaded with professional players to Athens. Jojima and Wada play for the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks, and both were top picks by the team in the Japanese draft.