Team USA lost to Japan by a 7-6 final in 10 innings on Monday in the quarterfinals of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games baseball tournament.
Team USA fell behind early, with Japan taking a 2-0 lead in the third inning against American starter Shane Baz (a prospect with the Tampa Bay Rays). Hayato Sakamoto doubled and then scored on a single from Masataka Yoshida. Yoshida later scored on a Yuki Yanagita single, which chased Baz from the game in favor of reliever Brandon Dickson.
Nevertheless, Team USA would rally against former New York Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka to take the lead back in the subsequent frame as part of action-packed fourth and fifth innings. Longtime big-league veteran Todd Frazier put the Americans on the board with an RBI double in the fourth. Mark Kolozsvary plated him with a single and Nick Allen later drove in a run of his own with another single.
Japan would score in their half of the fourth to tie the game at 3-3. It wouldn't remain even for long, however, as Triston Casas (a prospect with the Boston Red Sox) delivered a three-run shot in the fifth inning to give the Americans a 6-3 lead:
Once more Japan would score in their half of the inning. First on a solo home run by Seiya Suzuki off reliever Anthony Carter, and then another with a Ryosuke Kikuchi single that made it a 6-5 game.
The two sides would trade zeros from then until the ninth inning -- though Japan was able to get the potential tying run to third base in the eighth against David Robertson -- when Japan tied the game against reliever Scott McGough. Suzuki accepted a one-out walk before coming around to score on a Yuki Yanagita groundout.
Under Olympic rules, extra innings began with runners on first and second base. The Americans were unable to plate a run in the top half of the 10th. Japan, conversely, had pinch-hitter Ryoya Kurihara bunt the runners over. American manager Mike Scioscia aligned his defense so that he had five infielders behind pitcher Edwin Jackson, but it didn't matter. Rather, Takuya Kai delivered a long drive to right field that scored the winning run.
Japan will now advance to play South Korea, who defeated Team Israel in the other quarterfinal game, on Wednesday. That game is scheduled to begin at 6 a.m. ET. Team USA, meanwhile, will await the winner of Tuesday's contest between Israel and the Dominican Republic. Team USA's next game will take place at 11 p.m. ET on Tuesday night.
Monday's meeting was the 10th all-time between Team USA and Japan. The Americans entered the game with a 5-4 record against this year's host country, including a victory in the 2008 bronze medal game.