Korea closes in on trip to second round

Updated: March 4, 2006, 12:54 AM ET
Associated Press

TOKYO -- Korea beat China 10-1 in the World Baseball Classic on Saturday, closing in on a trip to the second round of the 16-nation tournament.

Seung Yeop Lee homered twice, drove in five runs and finished with four hits for Korea, which improved to 2-0 in the inaugural WBC. Korea shut out Chinese Taipei 2-0 on Friday behind pitchers Jae-Weong Seo of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chan Ho Park of the San Diego Padres.

A victory by Japan over Chinese Taipei later Saturday would send Korea -- and Japan -- to the next round in Anaheim, Calif., from March 12-16.

Lee hit a two-run homer off China starter Chen Kun in the third inning and added a solo shot in the eighth at Tokyo Dome. Lee also drove in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly and made it 6-0 with an RBI single in the sixth.

Lee, who holds the Asian record of 56 homers in a season, signed with the Yomiuri Giants in Japan after spending two seasons with the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan's Pacific League.

The Giants play their home games at Tokyo Dome and are expecting big things from Lee this season.

Korea starter Min Han Son earned the win, giving up one hit and striking out three in four scoreless innings.

China (0-2), which will not advance, got on the scoreboard with a homer by outfielder Yang Shuo in the top of the eighth.

Attendance for the game, which started at 11 a.m. local time, was 3,925.

All Group A games are being played in Japan. The top two teams advance to the second round to play the top two teams from Group B, which includes the United States, Canada, Mexico and South Africa.

Japan defeated China 18-2 on Friday.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press