Lee Seung Yeop came up with a clutch hit against his country as the Yomiuri Giants beat Olympic champion South Korea 3-0 Tuesday in a warmup game for the World Baseball Classic.
Lee, who chose spring training with his Japanese club over the WBC after enduring the worst season of his career, drove in two runs in the first inning with a double off the center-field wall at Tokyo Dome.
“It was a changeup. Although I fell behind in the count, I only thought about taking a full swing,” Lee said. “It felt special (to play against South Korea), so I concentrated well.”
Alex Ramirez homered to left-center to make it 3-0 in the third. Yomiuri outhit South Korea 11-7.
Lee Dae Ho, batting cleanup for South Korea, finished 1-for-4 with a double.
Earlier Tuesday, Taiwan lost to the Seibu Lions 13-2. Six Taiwanese pitchers gave up a total of 13 hits.
“Some of the Taiwanese pitchers didn’t seem aggressive enough against our hitters due to a lack of experience,” said Seibu manager Hisanobu Watanabe, who spent the final three years of his playing career in Taiwan.
“It’s unfortunate that the Taiwanese don’t have some of their top players due to injuries or some other reasons.”
The WBC starts Thursday with a game between defending champion Japan and China. South Korea and Taiwan will meet Friday.