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JAPAN BEATS U.S.: Yasuyuki Saigo hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning and knocked in the winning run in the ninth, leading Japan to a 7-6 victory over the United States at the Baseball World Cup on Saturday in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Japan leads Group B and is followed by Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United States. The top four teams in each group advance to the quarterfinals.

Japan took an early lead on Tsutomu Takanezawa's homer in the second inning, but American third baseman Mike Cervenak tied it with a two-run homer in the fourth.

Japan added a solo homer by Daisuke Kusano before the Americans rallied to take a 6-5 lead with four runs in the sixth.

Saigo tied the game with a homer in the seventh, and eventual loser Chris Mobley came on in the ninth and gave up just one hit — Saigo's RBI single.

In other Group B games, Puerto Rico dealt Nicaragua its first loss, 6-5. Puerto Rico got a three-run homer from Jesus Feliciano to take a 5-0 lead in the fifth inning. Nicaragua rallied and moved in front when designated hitter Jenrry Roa drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth.

In Group A games, defending champion Cuba beat Canada 7-0 to remain unbeaten.

Cuba (7-0) is in first place in its group, while Canada dropped to sixth. Cuba next faces the Netherlands, which remained unbeaten with a 9-5 win over Panama.

In other games, Taiwan beat Australia 11-4; Spain defeated Colombia 6-4; South Korea beat China 3-1; and Sweden stopped South Africa 10-4.


U.S. DOWNS PUERTO RICO: The United States beat Puerto Rico 3-0 Saturday to advance to the final of the NORCECA Women's Continental Championship in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.

The U.S. team won each set over previously unbeaten Puerto Rico 25-18.

The U.S. women will face the winner of the semifinal between Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

Cuba has already defeated the United States in the tournament, dominating all three sets Sept. 8.

The tournament champion qualifies for the Grand Champions Cup event in Japan in November.


VILORIA WINS TITLE: Hawaii's Brian Viloria knocked out Eric Ortiz in the first round Saturday night to win the WBC light flyweight championship at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Viloria was fighting for the first time since May, when Ruben Contreras quit in the sixth round and had a seizure soon after. Contreras accepted Viloria's invitation to attend Saturday's fight and sat ringside.

Viloria and Ortiz, the defending champion from Mexico City, had a few brief exchanges in the first round, but neither was especially aggressive and both looked to be settling in for a long fight.

But Viloria connected with a pair of right hands and floored Ortiz in the final second. Ortiz did not get up until well after the bell.