China falls to Cuba in Tokyo
China struggled at the plate collecting just a single hit against Cuba at the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Bruce Chen pitched well for China, but only lasted 2.2 innings due to pitch count limits. And once Chen was out, the hitting really began for Cuba.
Xia Luo came on to relieve Chen and was greeted rudely by the Cuban bats. Luo would wind up giving up 4 runs in an inning of work. He gave up 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out none. That was all Cuba would need to cruise to its first victory of the WBC behind starter Bladimir Banos.
Banos picked up the win going 5.0 shutout innings. He gave up the only hit of the game by China and struck out 4. The Cuba pitching staff struck out 10 total over the game as they dominated the young hitters from China.
Roel Santos finished 3-for-5 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI. He doubled and tripled.
Shortstop Alexander Ayala drove in a run and went 3-for-4.
Yurisbel Gracial also went 3-for-4 in the game for Cuba en route to the win.
Livan Moinelo tossed an inning of relief striking out 3 for Cuba.
Up next for both China and Cuba will be Australia. China plays next on Thursday night, and Cuba comes back early on Friday.
WBC Pool B Standings:
- Japan 1-0
- Cuba 1-1
- China 0-1
- Australia 0-0
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.