Behind six shutout innings from right-hander Shohei Ohtani, Japan blanked South Korea, 5-0, in the opener of the World Baseball Softball Confederation Premier 12 Tournament on Sunday night in Japan.
Ohtani struck out 10, allowing just two hits and two walks. The Japanese staff struck out 14 batters total in the game.
Korean starter Kwang-hyun Kim took the loss, giving up two earned runs on five hits in 2 2/3 innings.
Japan jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning, patching together runs on a passed-ball third strike, a single, a double, a walk and a sacrifice fly. The Japanese team also scored one run in the fifth, sixth and eighth. Shortstop Hayato Sakamoto led the way with two runs, two hits (including a home run) and two RBIs.
Korean first baseman Byung Ho Park notched two hits (including a double) in the losing effort. On Monday, it was revealed that the Twins placed the winning bid to negotiate a contract with Park, and the club has 30 days to come to terms with him.
Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.