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China rallies to beat Brazil in World Baseball Classic

Chinese fans cheer during a World Baseball Classic

Chinese fans cheer during a World Baseball Classic first round game between China and Brazil in Fukuoka, Japan, Tuesday, March 5, 2013. China won 5-2. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara) Credit: AP Photo Koji Sasahara

FUKUOKA, Japan - Ray Chang drove in two runs Tuesday and China rallied with five runs in the bottom of the eighth to beat Brazil, 5-2, in Group A of the World Baseball Classic.

Brazil led 2-0 in the eighth but China scored its first run on a bases-loaded walk before Chang hit a soft fly ball to left field that scored two and gave the Chinese a 3-2 lead.

"It was a very gratifying win because our kids are not used to this," China manager John McLaren said. "Both teams played well, both teams could have won but we were fortunate to get the big inning at the end there."

China added two more runs on bases-loaded walks before Lu Jiangang recorded the final out.

With the win, China improved to 1-2 and earned a spot in the next Classic, while Brazil (0-3) will be forced to qualify for the next tournament.

"Our pitching completely fell apart," Brazil manager Barry Larkin said. "And it wasn't just the pitching. We had many chances offensively but we weren't able to capitalize so we had a two-run lead that should have been bigger."

Lu picked up the win after pitching 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief. Murilo Gouvea gave up three earned runs in the eighth to take the loss.

Japan plays Cuba on Wednesday in the final game of Group A. Both teams have already advanced to the March 8-12 second round at Tokyo Dome.


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