Japan’s Olympic baseball team will play Cuba in July as a warm up for this summer’s Athens Olympics, Japanese baseball officials said Thursday.
Japan will play the Barcelona and Atlanta Olympic gold medalist on July 13 and 14 at Tokyo Dome.
Japan will send top players from the Central and Pacific Leagues to the Athens Olympics, where it is a gold medal hopeful.
The two-game series against Cuba coincides with Japanese baseball’s All-Star break.
In other baseball news, Masahiko Morino hit a three-run home run in the second inning and So Tsutsui delivered a three-run double in the five-run seventh, leading the Chunichi Dragons to a 10-7 come-from-behind victory over the Yomiuri Giants in a preseason game Thursday in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture.
At Osaka Dome, Kenji Jojima hit a solo homer to open the scoring in the second inning and came through again with an RBI double in the three-run third as the Daiei Hawks beat the Kintetsu Buffaloes 5-3.
At Yahoo BB Stadium, Shinji Takahashi’s two-run blast contributed to a four-run fourth and Tsuyoshi Shinjo had a two-run single as the Nippon Ham Fighters outslugged the Orix BlueWave 9-7. Also Thursday, the Lotte Marines topped the Yokohama BayStars 12-9.
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