Czech Republic beats China 8-5 at WBC, Cuba gets its 1st win

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TOKYO – Martin Muzik hit a three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning and the Czech Republic beat China 8-5 on Friday in the World Baseball Classic.

The Czech Republic overcame a 5-4 deficit in the ninth, with Filip Smola adding an RBI single in the team’s first game in Group A.

Matej Mensik also homered for the Czechs, connecting in the third. Marek Minarik was the winner, closing with 2 2/3 scoreless innings.

Hai Cheng Gong took the loss as China dropped to 0-2. It lost to Japan 8-1 on Thursday.

The all-amateur Czech team has had fun in Japan. A few of the players even went surfing in the run-up to the tournament during games in Miyazaki in southwestern Japan.

“We’re enjoying the Japanese stay,” Czech player Marek Chlup said. “At Miyazaki, some players swam.”


TAICHUNG, Taiwan — Cuba pounded out 21 hits and picked up its first victory in the World Baseball Classic after losing its first two games in Group A.

Panama led 4-2 after two innings, breaking out with four runs in the second inning, keyed by a two-run homer by Ruben Tejada. But Cuba scored four runs in the sixth, five in the seventh and two more in the eighth for the lopsided victory.

Yoan Moncada was 3 for 5 with four RBIs, and Yadir Drake went 4 for 4 with two RBIs to lead the Cubans.

Luis Miguel Tejada was the winning pitcher and Matthew Hardy picked up the loss for Panama.

Both teams a 1-2 in Group A play.

Cardinals sign pitcher Miles Mikolas to 3-year, $55.75M deal

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ST. LOUIS — Miles Mikolas is sticking with the St. Louis Cardinals.

The right-hander signed a three-year, $55.75 million contract on Friday that will carry through the 2025 season.

The new deal replaces a $68 million, four-year contract signed in February 2019 that covered the 2020-23 seasons and was set to pay $15.75 million this year.

Mikolas will receive a $5 million signing bonus payable July 1 and will make $18.75 million in 2023 and $16 million in each of the following two seasons. Mikolas can earn a $250,000 bonus for winning a Cy Young Award, $50,000 for All-Star election or selection or winning a Gold Glove, $100,000 for League Championship Series MVP and $150,000 for World Series MVP.

Mikolas is scheduled to make the second opening-day start of his big league career next Thursday when the Cardinals host Toronto. Mikolas went 12-13 with a 3.29 ERA last season while helping St. Louis to the NL Central title.

“Miles stands among the top pitchers in the game today, and has continued to provide a steady presence for us both in the rotation and inside the clubhouse,” St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak said in a statement.

Mikolas is 45-40 with a 3.79 in 143 games with San Diego, Texas and St. Louis. He recently pitched six shutout innings in two appearances for the U.S. in the World Baseball Classic.