Japan Routs China in WBC Opener

Shohei Ohtani hits a double in the fourth inning of the Pool B game against China at the World Baseball Classic in Tokyo on Thursday.

Japan got off to a good start in the World Baseball Classic, routing China 8-1 in the opening game for both teams at Tokyo Dome on Thursday night.

Japan starter Shohei Ohtani, who also batted third in the lineup, allowed one hit and no runs over four innings in his first official game in Japan since leaving to join the Los Angeles Angels after the 2017 season.

At the plate, Ohtani went two-for-four with an RBI double and a single.

Shohei Ohtani delivers a pitch against China in the first inning of Thursday’s game.

Second baseman Shugo Maki homered in the seventh for Japan, which is looking to regain the title it last won in 2009.

Japan will next face South Korea in Pool B on Friday. South Korea was dealt a surprising loss in the afternoon game on Thursday, falling 8-7 to Australia.

Lars Nootbaar takes a catch from China’s Jinjun Luo during Thursday’s game.