Norichika Aoki definitely made a big contribution to Japan's 11-6 win over Cuba in their World Baseball Classic Pool B opener at Tokyo Dome on Tuesday night.

The 35-year-old veteran had a well-hit double and scored a run in the first inning, while he also made a couple of great catches in center field in the third and fourth innings.

The Samurai Japan offense came through, but Aoki agreed that solid defensive plays helped the team maintain its momentum.