Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Masataka Yoshida blasts Japan past Mexico in series finale


Masataka Yoshida’s grand slam led the way as Japan beat Mexico 6-0 on Sunday and earn a split in their two-game series.

A day after a 4-2 loss in which he drove in Japan’s first run and scored the other, Yoshida again was Japan’s batting star at Kyocera Dome, his home park with the Orix Buffaloes.

The left-handed hitter took right-hander Manuel Barreda deep to open the scoring after the first three Samurai Japan players reached base in the first inning and Japan never looked back.

Yoshida, batting fourth in manager Atsunori Inaba’s lineup, iced the game in the seventh with a sacrifice fly.

Yakult Swallows right-hander Juri Hara started and allowed one hit over two scoreless innings to earn the win. Six relievers followed him to the mound to complete the shutout.