by RONALD BLUM – AP BASEBALL WRIER
Published: March 21, 2023 / 11:01 pm EDT
Updated: March 21, 2023 / 11:01 pm EDT
MIAMI (AP) — Shohei Otani came out of the bullpen and fanned Los Angeles Angels teammate Mike Trout in the final game, who wanted to see the entire baseball world beat Japan 3-2 over the defending champion United States on Tuesday night. World Baseball Classic title since 2009.
Otani, a two-way star who has captivated fans on two continents, beat a single infield in the seventh inning as a designated hitter and went down the left field line to Japan’s bullpen to warm up ahead of her third appearance at the mound tournament. He passed major league champion Jeff McNeil before making Mookie Betts land a double play.
Trout, the US captain and three-time MVP, then ended the game by hitting the ball with a full score.
Otani batted .435 with one homer, four doubles, eight RBIs and 10 walks when Japan joined the Dominican Republic in 2013 to become the only undefeated national team baseball major tournament champion. Otani was 2-0 with a save and a 1.86 ERA on the mound, striking out 11 in 9 2/3 innings.