Japan swamps Canada

Despite rain delays of an hour and 43 minutes to start and an hour and a half in the third inning, Japan easily defeated Canada, 31-1, in four innings at Nationals Park in the first International Pool game of the series.

The game was scheduled for play at Fenway Park, but the first round of rain pushed the action to the partial turf field of Nationals Park.

Japan put the game away in its first at bat, plating 10 runs on seven hits and five Canada errors. Taisei Takeoka was the lone Japanese player to have two hits in the inning.

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Japan tacked on two runs in the second on a Takumi Okada two-run home run and then added five more runs in the third on four hits, four walks and two Canada errors.

When play resumed after the second rain delay, Japan had its biggest inning of the contest, sending 17 batters to the plate for 13 more runs.

Kosuke Nagata capped the inning with a three-run homer and Japan had 10 hits in the inning. Nagata and Kazuki Sakurai, each had two hits in the inning.

Canada's lone run came across in the bottom of the first with leadoff hitter Jax Mullin drawing a walk, stealing second and third and on the steal of third, the Japan catcher's throw sailed into left field, allowing Mullin to score.

Canada had just one hit, a ground ball single by Hunter Hughes with two outs in the second inning.

Ryoken Nakanishi pitched one inning to get the win and three others also saw mound action for Japan. Hudson MacMillan was also one of four Canada pitchers, making the start and taking the loss.

Keep checking back with http://www.exploreharford.com for game updates and scores today and throughout the 2011 Ripken Major/70 World Series.