2013 World Baseball Classic scores: Sunday, March 3

Koji Watanabe

There wasn't much action (just two games) to cap off the first weekend of the WBC, but a potential power-house did emerge in Chinese Taipei, while Japan continued it's dominance.

The first weekend of the World Baseball Classic action is officially over, and Japan, Chinese Taipei, and Cuba have jumped out as early favorites in Pools A + B.

Here's a breakdown of Sunday's two games:

Japan 5 China 2

Japan, the two-time defending champions of the WBC, continued their reign of dominance by handing China their second loss of the tournament. Starting right-hander Kenta Maeda held the Chinese bats in check by racking up five innings of shutout baseball, allowing just one hit and striking out six in the process. Japan's offense got off to a slow start for the second straight game, but a bases-clearing double by Yoshio Itoi in the fifth broke the game wide open. China mounted a small comeback in the bottom of the ninth, scoring a pair of runs on a wild pitch and a groundout, but it was too little too late for the club. With Japan and Cuba both sitting at two wins apiece, China and Brazil are effectively eliminated from the tournament, though they will still play each other to determine the Pool A loser.

Chinese Taipei 8, Netherlands 3

The boys from Holland were no match for the high-powered offense of Chinese Taipei -- who had the added benefit of playing in front of the home crowd. The Netherlands jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the second inning after Taipei's starting pitcher Yao-Lin Wang lost the strike zone and walked the bases loaded. Wang's relief, right-hander Wei-Lun Pan, hit the first batter he faced then gave up a two-run single to Dashenko Ricardo before settling down and getting out of the inning. Taipei got a run back in the bottom half of the inning and then took the lead for good with a four-run fourth, aided by a bit of small ball and a series of walks. Taipei left fielder Dai-Kang Yang put an exclamation point on the victory in the sixth with a two-run blast to right, sealing the club's spot in Round 2.

All World Baseball Classic Scores:

Japan 5, China 2

Chinese Taipei 8, Netherlands 3

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Standings

Pool A W - L

1. Japan 2 - 0

1. Cuba: 2 - 0

3. Brazil: 0 - 2

4. China: 0 - 2

Pool B

1. Chinese Taipei 2 - 0

2. Netherlands 1 - 1

3. South Korea 0 - 1

4. Australia 0 - 1

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