SANTIAGO DE CUBA, Cuba – Naotaka Takehara hit a two-run homer and Masanori Yasuda had an RBI double as Japan overcame a two-run deficit en route to a 10-4 win over Group B opponent Panama in the preliminary round of the World Cup on Saturday.
Japan and the United States stand atop the standings with spotless 5-0 records followed by Panama (3-2) and the Netherlands (2-3) in second and third, respectively. In Group A, South Korea crushed Canada 17-5 while Cuba blanked Italy 7-0.
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