Shohei Ohtani smashed a 448-foot, three-run homer in the first inning and drove in four runs as Japan remained unbeaten and handed Australia its first loss, 7-1, in World Baseball Classic Pool B play in Tokyo on Sunday.
Ohtani's bases-loaded walk in the fourth extended the lead to 6-0 for Japan (4-0), which already had clinched its spot in the quarterfinals.
Starter Yoshinobu Yamamoto allowed just one hit and struck out eight over four shutout innings. Australia (2-1) had only five hits, including Alex Hall's solo homer in the ninth.
Italy 7, Netherlands 1
Italy erupted for six runs in the fourth inning to defeat the Netherlands in Taichung City, Taiwan. All five teams in the pool finished at 2-2, but with the win, Italy advanced to join Cuba in the quarterfinals from Pool A.
After the Dutch took a 1-0 lead on Chadwick Tromp's third-inning homer, Italy batted around in the bottom of the fourth. Brett Sullivan, Ben DeLuzio and Sal Frelick had RBI singles and Nicky Lopez capped the inning with a two-run triple.
Italy starter Matt Harvey allowed one run on two hits in four innings, striking out three and walking none.
Venezuela 5, Dominican Republic 1
Anthony Santander went 2-for-4 with a triple, a home run and two runs to lead Venezuela past the Dominican Republic in the opening day of Pool D play in Miami.
The Dominican Republic (0-1) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on Juan Soto's RBI double and did not score again. Reigning National League Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara took the loss for the Dominican Republic, giving up three runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Jose Ruiz earned the win in relief for Venezuela (1-0) and Luis Garcia struck out seven batters in three innings of relief.
South Korea 7, Czech Republic 3
Ha-Seong Kim and Tommy Edman drove in two runs apiece to lead South Korea past the Czech Republic in Tokyo in Pool B play, where one spot in the quarterfinals remains up for grabs.
South Korea scored five runs in the first inning off Lukas Ercoli, who gave up six runs on eight hits in 1 1/3 innings.
Se Woong Park earned the win for South Korea.
Both teams stand 1-2 in pool play.
Cuba 7, Taiwan 1
Erisbel Arruebarrena's two-run homer capped a four-run first inning and Cuba clinched a spot in the quarterfinals with a victory over Taiwan in Taichung City.
Yoan Moncada was 3 for -4 with a solo homer in the second inning and Alfredo Despaigne and Roel Santos each had two hits and two RBIs as Cuba won its second straight game in Pool A action and advanced to the next round.
Taiwan managed only four hits and avoided a shutout with Yu Chang's one-out RBI double in the ninth.
--Field Level Media