Baseball is back at the Olympics after a 13-year hiatus, and the tournament in Tokyo is ongoing. Here is everything you need to know about this year's Olympic baseball tournament, and here's what you need to know about Team USA in particular. Now here's a recap of Saturday's results from Tokyo.
Japan 7, Mexico 4
Japan's DH and leadoff hitter Tetsuto Yamada, former MVP of the NPB's Central League, picked up two hits, including a three-run home run in the fourth inning, and drove in four to pace the hosts and gold medal favorites. Catcher Takuya Kai also tallied three hits for Japan. Masato Morishita started for Japan and allowed two runs in five innings while striking out three and walking none. On the other side, former MLBer Adrian Gonzalez went hitless in four trips to the plate for Mexico.
The win means that Japan moves to 2-0 in the Olympics and will advance to the quarterfinal knockout stage as the winner of Group A. They'll face the U.S. on Monday. As for Mexico, they're now 0-2 and at the bottom of the Group A standings. They'll face Israel on Sunday.
United States 4, South Korea 2
Team USA starting pitcher Nick Martinez struck out nine while allowing two runs in five innings, and four relievers combined to allow one run over the final four frames to secure the win. The U.S. trailed 1-0 early, but in the fourth inning Red Sox prospect Tristan Casas hit a go-ahead two-run homer off side-arming South Korea starter Ko Youngpyo:
Nick Allen added some insurance with a home run of his own in the fifth. Former major league closer David Robertson earned the save despite allowing a walk, a double, and a sac fly in the ninth. The U.S. sealed the win on a sparkling play by Jack Lopez, defensive replacement for Todd Frazier at third base:
The win pushes Team USA to 2-0 in the Tokyo Olympics and means that advance to the quarterfinal as the winner of Group B. After an off day on Sunday, they'll face Group A winner Japan on Monday in the double-elimination second stage. South Korea faces the Dominican Republic on Sunday.