Cuba ties with Orix Buffaloes in WBC warmup

Cuba scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning, to tie with the Orix Buffaloes in its first warm-up match against japanese professional teams in preparation for the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

In that inning Cuban catcher Frank C. Morejón singled, Roel Santos followed with a double, and both scored when shortstop Alexander Ayala singled to left. Ayala scored the tying run later, when William Saavedra reaches on first base on a throwing error by third baseman Ito Hikaru.

Cuba started the game with its ace, RHP Lázaro Blanco, whom completed 4 innings allowing one run. Reliever, RHP Vladimir García, pitched two innings and allowed a run.

RHP Jonder Martínez had another ineffective outing, getting only one out during his appareance and allowing two hits for the third japanese run in the game in the seventh.  

Lefty Liván Moinelo came to replace Martínez, completing 1 1/3 with 2 hits and 2 strikeouts.

Righ handed Miguel Lahera closed the game for Cuba, throwing 1 1/3, allowing a single, striking out one, and walking anoother.

Cuba, playing as visitor, produced three runs on seven hits, with catcher Frank C. Morejón having a perfect night. Morejón went 3-for-3 with a run, while outfielder Roel Santos went 2-for-4 with a double and a run, and shortstop Alex Ayala had a 1-for-3 night with 2-RBIs. Frederich Cepeda had the other Cuba' single in the game.

Cuba's lineup for the game

1b. Roel Santos (CF) - 2-for-4 (Scored)

2b. Alexander Ayala (SS)  - 1-for-3 (Double, 2 RBIs, SO)

3b. Frederich Cepeda (DH) - 1-for-4

      Víctor V. Mesa

4b. Alfredo Despaigne (LF) - 0-for-4 (SO)

5b. William Saavedra (1B) - 0-for-4

6b. Yurisbel Gracial (3B) - 0-for-4 (SO)

7b. Carlos Benítez (2B) - 0-for-2 (BB)

      Guillermo Avilés (E) - 0-for-1 

      Raúl González (2B) 

8b. Frank C. Morejón (C) - 3-for-3 (Scored)

      Osvaldo Vázquez (C) - 0-for-1 

9b. Yoelkis Céspedes (RF) - 0-for-4 (2 SO)

Cuba will be playing his last exhibition game in Japan this Sunday, when they face the Seibu Lions of the NPB, at 6:30 pm local time.

The Cubans will battle Australia, China and local Japan in Group A of the tournament, during the opening round of the WBC beginning on March 7 at Tokyo Dome in Japan.