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Tuesday, March 5, 2013
China rallies past Brazil 5-2 news services

FUKUOKA, Japan -- Ray Chang drove in two runs Tuesday and China rallied with five runs in the bottom of the eighth to beat Brazil 5-2 in Group A of the World Baseball Classic.

Brazil led 2-0 in the eighth but China scored its first run on a bases-loaded walk before Chang hit a soft fly ball to left field that scored two and gave the Chinese a 3-2 lead.

"It was a very gratifying win because our kids are not used to this," China manager John McLaren said. "Both teams played well, both teams could have won but we were fortunate to get the big inning at the end there."

China added two more runs on bases-loaded walks before Lu Jiangang recorded the final out.

With the win, China improved to 1-2 and earned a spot in the next Classic, while Brazil (0-3) will be forced to qualify for the next tournament.

"Our pitching completely fell apart," Brazil manager Barry Larkin said. "And it wasn't just the pitching. We had many chances offensively but we weren't able to capitalize so we had a two-run lead that should have been bigger."

Lu picked up the win after pitching 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief. Murilo Gouvea gave up three earned runs in the eighth to take the loss.

Japan plays Cuba on Wednesday in the final game of Group A. Both teams have already advanced to the March 8-12 second round at Tokyo Dome.

South Korea 3, Taiwan 2

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Jungho Kang hit a two-run homer with two out in the bottom of the 8th inning to give South Korea a 3-2 victory over Taiwan in a World Baseball classic Group B game, but the South Koreans missed out on a spot in the next round because they lost a tiebreaker against the Netherlands.

Taiwan, Korea and the Netherlands all finished the group with 2-1 records. But Taiwan and the Netherlands advanced on a run differential tiebreaker. Australia finished at the bottom of the group with an 0-3 record.

Kang's home run came off former Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Hong-Chih Kuo, who gave up all three runs in the 8th.

Dai-Kang Yang had two singles for Taiwan and drove in a run.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.