8 Mar 2009

.USA edges Canada in World Baseball champs

6:30 pm on 8 March 2009

The United States slammed three home runs to edge Canada 6-5 in their World Baseball Classic opener in Toronto, taking a first step towards restoring pride in their national pastime.

But another of the tournament favourites could not avoid an upset with the Dominican Republic surprisingly beaten 3-2 by the Netherlands in a Pool D clash in Puerto Rico.

In Tokyo, the holders Japan crushed the Olympic champions South Korea 14-2 in seven innings to become the first team to reach the second round while China ended Taiwan's hopes with a 4-1 win.

While baseball is America's national pastime, the USA's international results have been ordinary, with Japan, Korea and Cuba dominating.