Aug 7, 2021 - Sports

Japan beats U.S., wins 1st baseball Olympic gold medal

Picture of Japanese baseball players celebrating their win

Players of Team Japan celebrate winning the gold after their 2-0 victory over Team USA. Photo: Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Japan outplayed Team USA on Saturday evening, winning 2-0 in the baseball final at the Tokyo Olympics.

The big picture: This is Japan's first-ever Olympic gold medal in baseball — the country's most popular sport. The country earned a silver in 1996, and received the bronze in 1992 and 2004.

  • Japan hit its first run in the third inning, when Munetaka Murakami batted a home run.
  • The Japanese team of All-Stars saw a second run in the eighth, when Masataka Yoshida singled off and Tetsuto Yamada scored from second base after U.S. center fielder Jack Lopez threw the ball past the plate.
  • The U.S. won the silver and the Dominican Republican got the bronze in the sport.

State of play: Japan defended both Olympic diamonds, with the women's softball team defeating Team USA and earning gold last month.

Of note: Baseball was first played in the Summer Olympics in 1992, but had been absent from the Games for 13 years.

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