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.

Phils’ Hoskins tears knee, expected to miss significant time

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CLEARWATER, Fla. — Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins needs surgery for a torn ACL after injuring his left knee Thursday fielding a grounder in a spring training game and is expected to miss a significant amount of time.

The Phillies did not say when Hoskins would have the surgery or exactly how long the slugging first baseman might be sidelined.

Hoskins hit 30 homers with 79 RBIs last season for the reigning National League champions.

He was backing up to play a chopper on Thursday when the ball popped out of his glove. Sooner after, he fell to the ground and began clutching his left knee. Teammates gathered around him before he was taken off of the field.

Hoskins, a free agent at the end of the season who turned 30 last week, hit six homers in Philadelphia’s playoff run last season. The Phillies lost to the Houston Astros in the World Series.

The injury was another blow for the Phillies, who will be without top pitching prospect Andrew Painter for another few weeks because of a sprained ligament in his right elbow. And slugger Bryce Harper isn’t expected back until around the All-Star break after undergoing Tommy John surgery in November.