Murakami and Yoshida lead Japan to final win at WBC warm-up

Munetaka Murakami crushed a three-run homer in the first inning and Masataka Yoshida drove in four runs as Samurai Japan headed to the World Baseball Classic, beating the defending Japan Series champion Oryx Buffaloes 9-1 in the final warm-up on Tuesday.

Murakami, 23, who last year became Japan’s youngest forward to win the Triple Crown, has struggled in the team’s warm-up games so far, but won the rally in the first inning of four runs after dropping to first place. 6 places with manager Hideki Kuriyama at Kyocera Dome Osaka.

Kensuke Kondo and Shohei Otani started the game with a walk and a single, with Kondo scoring from second place on a single by Yoshida, who replaced Murakami in a cleanup spot against his former team.

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