LA HABANA, Cuba – Takayuki Goto gave up a three-run homer to Ruben Rivera in the third inning as Japan fell to its first defeat in nine games at the Baseball World Cup on Thursday with a 4-1 loss to Panama in the semifinals. Japan will now compete in the bronze medal match against Taiwan on Saturday afternoon while Panama and defending champion Cuba will fight for the gold medal in the evening final. On Thursday, Yuki Ito hit a solo homer in the ninth to cap a 3-for-4 day for Japan’s only run.
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