Japan beats Canada for baseball bronze

Updated: August 25, 2004, 9:39 AM ET
Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece -- Kenji Jojima hit a two-run home run and Tsuyoshi Wada struck out six batters in five solid innings, leading Japan to an 11-2 victory over Canada for the bronze medal on Wednesday.

Australia and Cuba played later for the gold.

Jojima put Japan ahead 2-0 in the first, driving a two-out homer off Mike Johnson, and Takuya Kimura hit a two-run single as Japan scored four runs in the third. Jojima added an RBI double to make it 7-0 in the fourth.

He finished with four RBIs as Japan collected 13 hits off six Canadian pitchers.

Wada allowed two runs on four hits and walked two. He gave up a solo homer by Canada's Jeremy Ware in the fifth. Hiroki Kuroda pitched three scoreless innings in relief and Masahide Kobayashi threw a perfect ninth.

Japan, disappointed by a fourth-place finish in Sydney, sent a roster loaded with professional players to Athens. Jojima and Wada play for the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks, and both were top picks by the team in the Japanese draft.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press