The World Baseball Classic continued Thursday morning as Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani and Team Japan showed why they’re one of the event’s favorites against Team China.
Ohtani hurled four innings of shutout ball on the mound while driving in two runs at the plate for the Japanese squad in his first WBC appearance, which came in front of a packed house at the Tokyo Dome.
These are the top moments from the game!
Sit ’em down!
Ohtani’s stuff was working early, and he looked poised for a stellar start as he mowed down the game’s first batter with his signature splitter in the first.
Japan’s Shohei Ohtani records his first strikeout of the 2023 World Baseball Classic vs. China!
Japan’s Shohei Ohtani struck out the first batter he faced in the 2023 World Baseball Classic vs. China.
The home crowd showered Ohtani with a standing ovation as he approached the plate for his first at-bat, and China wisely stayed away from his power, putting him on base in four pitches.
Coaxing the walk
After Ohtani took care of business on the bump in the first, Japan’s offense kicked off the game with a fiery rally, bringing in its first run courtesy of a walk after loading the bases.
Out at the plate!
Japan had an opportunity to plate another run with one out, but China came up with a huge double play on a sacrifice fly attempt, as Pei Liang uncorked a laser to nab the runner.
Pei Liang makes a catch and throws out the runner at home to limit the damage for China vs. Japan
China limited the damage in the first inning after Pei Liang made a catch and threw out the runner tagging at home.
Out of a jam
Japan got the bats going again in the second inning, but China escaped danger with the bases loaded and Ohtani at the dish by forcing him into a groundout.
We got your back
Ohtani did his part to keep runners off the basepaths in the first few innings…
… and when he needed a little help in his efforts, his defense stepped up in a big way. Plays like this diving catch from Lars Nootbaar helped hold China scoreless through three innings.
Ohtani with runners in scoring position often nets positive results, and the superstar sent the home crowd into a frenzy with this opposite-field double to score two more for his squad. The momentous hit put Japan up 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth.
Japan takes a 3-0 lead against China thanks to Shohei Ohtani’s two-RBI double
Japan takes a 3-0 lead against China thanks to Shohei Ohtani’s RBI-double in the World Baseball Classic.
Calling for backup
Ohtani was pulled from the mound following four innings of shutout ball, and his reliever, Shosei Togo, picked up right where he left off, striking out the side in his first WBC action. Ohtani finished with five strikeouts on the day.
Over and out
Have a day, Pei Liang! He had a defensive gem in the first inning, and got China on the board for its first run of the game in the sixth inning with this mammoth homer to left center field.
Pei Liang cranks a solo home run to get China on the board against Japan, 3-1
Pei Liang cranked a solo home run to get China on the board against Japan in the World Baseball Classic, 3-1.
Japan tacked on an insurance run in the seventh when Shugo Maki took a hanging breaking ball over the right field fence to put his team up 4-1.
Shugo Maki launches a solo home run to extend Japan’s lead against China, 4-1
Shugo Maki launched a solo home run to extend Japan’s lead against China in the World Baseball Classic, 4-1.
Taking full control
Japan had its best inning in the eighth, adding to its advantage after loading the bases with a number of timely RBIs to take an 8-1 lead.
Top stories from FOX Sports:
Get more from WBC – China vs. Japan – 3/9/2023 Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more