HAVANA, CUBA.- (ACN) Cuba lost 6-11 the opening match of the 4th World Baseball Classic (WBC) against the host squad of Japan, winner of the first two editions of this contest.

Japan opened the score in the very first inning when CF Norichika Aoki doubled to leftfield and then reached the home plate driven in by cleanup hitter Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, who singled to right field off Noelvis Entenza,

Cuba´s starting pitcher, who was relieved in the second frame by lefty Yoanni Yera after allowing two more hits.

The Caribbean squad managed to tie 1-1 on top of the third when RF Yoelkis Cespedes doubled, advanced to third base due to sacri-bunt and then scored thanks to a sacri-fly by SS Alexander Ayala.

The host team took the lead 2-1 in the fourth mainly thanks to a double by DH and leadoff hitter Tetsuto Yamada.

In the fifth frame, Japanese made wider their lead when scoring five runs off three Cuban relievers, Yera, Jose Angel Garcia and Raidel Martinez.

In the 7th inning, Cubans reduced the advantage (7-4) when scoring thrice mainly thanks to a solo homer by LF Alfredo Despaigne and a 2-RBI single by PH Guillermo Aviles.

But, on bottom of that same frame, Asians set the score 9-4 due to Tsutsugo´s 2-run homer off Cuban fifth pitcher in the game, Jonder Martinez.

Both sides scored twice in the 8th inning, but the Caribbean team managed to have bases loaded on top of the ninth although Despaigne, only Cuban playing in the Japanese professional league (NPB), took a strikeout without even making swing.

Cuba´s second game in this 4th WBC will be tonight at 10 pm against China, which seems to be the weakest opponent of this Pool B that also includes Australia, whom they will face next Thursday, also at 10 pm.