By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES, July 8 — From the score of their two games against Japan in the Rotterdam World Port Tournament, Cuba would seem to have rebounded from two painful losses in the World Baseball Classic last March – although the level of play is one notch lower.
Cuba (5-0) won its fifth straight game on Wednesday, this time a 10-0 mercy rule shortened game against Japan (2-4), which it defeated 8-0 last Friday. And the score clearly reflected what took place on the playing field.
Japan managed only one lone hit off Cuban starter Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez in five stellar innings. He allowed a walk and struck our five. Yadier Pedroso, his teammate on Havana Province, this year’s Cuban Baseball League Championship team, came on to pitch the final two hitless innings, striking out four.
Cuba was led at the plate by right fielder Leonys Martin who homered, doubled and drove in four runs. Third baseman Adonis Garcia and leftfielder Yoelvis Fiss, both hot throughout the tournament, had another big day. Garcia had a double, single and three RBIs while Fiss had two hits, scored twice and drove in one.
Japanese starter Tsuji Takehiko exploded in the sixth inning leaving the game after allowing eight earned runs and nine hits.
In the other game on Wednesday, Holland (2-4) picked up its second straight win by defeating Taiwan (2-3) in a tough 2-1 pitching duel.
On Thursday the Cubans play a double header against Taiwan. The first game is scheduled for 4:00 a.m. EST and the “nightcap” at 8:00 a.m. EST. Holland plays Japan at 1:00 p.m. EST.
To see the boxscores on Wednesdays games click on: http://www.baseballdecuba.com/rotterdamboxscores2009.asp