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Japan vs. Mexico final score, results: Munetaka Murakami overcomes slump with walkoff double to stun Mexico

At the end of Monday night, no one has struck out in the World Baseball Classic than Munetaka Murakami. And at the end of Monday night, no one cared.

Murakami, who struck out three times in the semifinals for Japan against Mexico, became the hero in the last at-bat of the game with a walkoff two-run double that drove in Shohei Ohtani and Masataka Yoshida, two Major Leaguers, to give Samuarai Japan a 6-5 win.

It was a game in which Mexico spent nearly the entire time in the driver’s seat, starting with a three-run home run in the fourth inning by Luis Urias off Roki Sasaki, whose outstanding splitter was on full display. However, Patrick Sandoval more than held his own for Mexico, going 4 1/3 innings and giving up four hits without a run. 

Japan’s vaunted offense finally struck in the seventh, when Yoshida golfed a home run to tie the game at three. Mexico answered with two runs in the eighth to make it five three again, but three runs over the last two frames ultimately gave Japan a thrilling one.

MORE: Revisiting Japan’s World Baseball Classic history

The victory for Japan gives Samurai Japan its first championship appearance since 2009, when it defeated Korea behind Daisuke Matsuzaka. Japan will face the United States, and Team USA will see a familiar face in the Padres’ Yu Darvish. The United States are the defending WBC champions, and will have Merrill Kelly on the mound.

Ohtani will see his teammate Mike Trout on the other side of the field, as the Angels teammates try to bring gold to their country. This game ends a Cinderella run for Mexico, who rode Randy Arozarena to winning Pool C and a semifinal berth with a win over Puerto Rico.

This was Japan’s first game outside of Tokyo, and it truly looked as advertised. The middle-of-the-order punch of Ohtani-Yoshida-Munetaka ended up being the difference. It just took a bit longer than Japan would have hoped.

Japan vs. Mexico score

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 F
Mexico 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 2 0 5
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 2 6

Japan vs. Mexico live updates, highlights from World Baseball Classic

(All times Eastern)

FINAL: JAPAN 6, MEXICO 5

10:49 p.m. — MUNETAKE MURAKAMI, ARE YOU KIDDING ME. The vaunted Japanese hitter, who has struggled all WBC, complete the comeback with Japan with a two-run game-winning double. Incredible job by Murakami, and all of Murakami’s struggles are erased.

10:42 p.m. — Yoshida takes ball four high, and the winning run is now on first. That means Munetaka Murakami is up. Runners on first and second. Nobody out. One-run game. This 

10:39 p.m. — Giovanny Gallegos is in for Mexico, and Ohtani jumps on it for a leadoff double! Japan is business with Yoshida up 3-0 in the count.

Bottom of ninth inning: Mexico 5, Japan 4

10:38 p.m. — Japan gets out of the inning, and we head to the bottom of the ninth.

10:32 p.m. — Alek Thomas is up next for Mexico, looking to get something going, but he’s quickly down 0-2.

10:30 p.m. — Ota is now in for Japan against Luis Urias, who had the three-run homer earlier. Urias flies out to Kondoh in right, bringing in Allan Trejo, who bloops one to left and Genda makes a terrific over-the-shoulder catch. Big play there for the second out.

Top of ninth inning: Mexico 5, Japan 4

10:28 p.m. — What a job from Gerardo Reyes. After walking Nootbaar, he freezes Kondoh with an 0-2 fastball at the knees to get out of the inning. Incredible situational pitching to get out of the inning, and Mexico is three outs away from a championship berth.

10:18 p.m. — Doesn’t get much luckier than that for Mexico. Barnes makes a nice block with the runner on third and it bounces off Yamakawa. Next pitch Yamakawa hits it hard to left and Arozarena makes the catch, scoring the runner from third and making it a one-run game with two outs and a runner on second. What a back-and-forth the last inning and a half has been. Benji Gil is going to take Cruz out to take on Lars Nootbaar.

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10:15 p.m. — Japan now has its first two runners on against Jesus Cruz, and Sosuke Genda is bunting and he now has a two-strike count. Even with two strikes, however, Genda gets down and advances the runner. Incredible job there by Genda to get the runners forward.

Bottom of eighth inning: Mexico 5, Japan 3

10:07 p.m. — Paredes finds a hole and singles to left! Meneses is thrown at home, but not before a second run scores to make it a 5-3 game. Huge moment there for Mexico, and great piece of hitting from Paredes.

10:06 p.m. — Mexico still has a threat brewing here with runners at second and third, but Rowdy Tellez strikes out for the second of the inning. Yuasa is in the game for Japan, and he’ll see Isaac Paredes trying to keep it a one-run game.

9:55 p.m. — Mexico answers that inning instantly! Arozarena starts things off with a double off of Yamamoto, and now Verdugo goes the other way to drive in a run! Mexico reclaims the lead!

Top of eighth inning: Mexico 3, Japan 3

9:46 p.m. — MASATAKA YOSHIDA. MAKES AN IMPRESSION ON THE USA CROWD HERE. Yoshida golfed a 1-2 pitch from Romero to right field to tie the game, and Japan just kept hammering and hammering before finally breaking through. We have a tie game. What a massive turn.

9:43 p.m. — After Nootbaar lines out to left, Japan has something brewing. Kondoh singles and Ohtani walks as JoJo Romero’s first batter to get runners on first and second for Masataka Yoshida. Massive batter here. Romero must pitch against Yoshida and Murakami.

9:35 p.m. — The clock is ticking now for Japan, as Urquidy stays out there and Takuya Kai strikes out.

Bottom of seventh inning: Mexico 3, Japan 0

9:29 p.m. — Yamamoto throws a great pitch to get Thomas swinging, and Trejo tried to swipe second. He was called safe but it’s being reviewed. This may or may not be overturned after Trejo went for a swim. It’s hard to tell.

9:26 p.m. — Now Yamamoto has found himself in a spot of trouble. He is now down 3-0 to Thomas and grooves one for a strike. Austin Barnes is on deck.

9:25 p.m. — Trejo walks here with one out, so Yamamoto walks his second of the game. That brings up Diamondbacks outfielder Alek Thomas.

9:20 p.m. — Yamamoto is still making things look easy. He gets Urias to ground out to short for the first out, and that brings up Alan Trejo with one out.

Top of seventh inning: Mexico 3, Japan 0

9:18 p.m. — Gil’s decision pays off, as Genda slices one to left that is hauled in by who else but Arozarena. Mexico gets out of the inning clean, and that’s a big crisis averted from Mexico.

9:15 p.m. — Urquidy walks Yamada on to load the bases. Gil stays in the dugout for now. And Sosuke Genda is up for Japan.

9:13 p.m. — Benji Gil came out to talk to Urquidy, but he seems content to leave him in for now. Rare managerial visit that keeps the pitcher in. Urquidy is 2-2 for Yamada.

9:09 p.m. — Okamoto is up next, and Urquidy is staying away from him. Barnes has made a few nice plays behind the plate, and it’s a 3-1 count with a runner on first and two out. He draws the walk, and that brings up the second baseman Yamada, who singled last time up.

9:06 p.m. — Yoshida chops one to Tellez at first, who gets the force at second but Yoshida reaches safely. That brings up Murakami with a runner on first and one out, looking to break out of his slump. He has two strike outs, and he strikes out for a third time there. He just can’t seem to find the ball.

9:04 p.m. — Ohtani climbs the ladder and hits one the other way for a base hit. He yells to the Japan dugout trying to get something going on. The leadoff man is on for Masataka Yoshida.

9:03 p.m. — Ohtani now comes up with nobody out for Japan against Urquidy. He’s 0 for 2 in the game.

Bottom of sixth inning: Mexico 3, Japan 0

9 p.m. — Paredes pops out to third to end the inning. Yamamoto continues to make things look easy for Japan.

8:58 p.m. — Yamamoto uses that easy release and gets Tellez swinging with a cutter for the second out. So far, little resistance met for 

8:57 p.m. — Meneses hits one hard off Yamamoto to second, but it’s flipped to second for the out. That brings up Rowdy Tellez with one down.

Top of sixth inning: Mexico 3, Japan 0

8:53 p.m. — Nootbaar draws a walk off Urquidy, and Kondoh now digs in. Huge moment here for the Japan bats, and Kondoh drives one to deep left. Arozarena grabs it on the track for the third out of the inning, and Urquidy works out of a tough spot.

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8:52 p.m. — Urquidy induces a ground ball off the bat of Maki to short, but the only play is at first for the second out of the inning. That brings up Lars Nootbaar with two outs and runners on second and third. The count is full with Kondoh on deck.

8:49 p.m. — Adam Jones, owner of the most famous catch in USA history, pays tribute to Arozarena.

8:48 p.m. — Sandoval walks Genda and Sandoval comes out of the game after 4 1/3 innings. Jose Urquidy takes over for Mexico.

8:41 p.m. — Sosuke Genda is up next for Japan with a runner on first.

8:40 p.m. — Yamada breaks up the party with a single the other way for Japan to get a runner on with one out.

8:37 p.m. — Kazuma Okamoto drives one to left! Arozarena brings the ball back into the ballpark and poses alongside Sandoval with a MASSIVE catch. Arozarena continues to make a case for WBC MVP, with his second incredible catch in as many games.

Bottom of fifth inning: Mexico 3, Japan 0

8:34 p.m. — Verdugo gets jammed up and grounds out to second to get Yamamoto out of the inning. No runs allowed in five WBC innings, and just one hit thus far.

8:32 p.m. — Yamamoto now walks Arozarena to bring up Verdugo with two out. An uncharacteristic walk for the back-to-back MVP.

8:31 p.m. — Barnes chops one to Murakami at third for the second out. That now brings up Arozarena with two outs.

8:28 p.m. — Yoshinobu Yamamoto is in in relief of Sasaki. NPB’s best pitcher and arguably one of the best ever, has a far more varied arsenal than Sasaki. He strikes out Thomas in five pitches to get one down for Japan. That brings up Austin Barnes.

Top of fifth inning: Mexico 3, Japan 0

8:24 p.m. — Sandoval looks very comfortable attacking Murakami, as he gets him in an 0-2 hole with two sliders. It looked like he had strike three with a slider at the belt, but it’s called a ball for a 1-2 count. Sandoval is now at 54 pitches for the night. He throws another slider to get Murakami looking and Mexico is out of the inning after Sandoval’s first high-leverage pitches of the night.

8:21 p.m. — Yoshida, one of the newest members of the Boston Red Sox, goes down 0-2 to Sandoval but has a great piece of hitting to take one to left for a hit. Runners on first and third with two outs for Murakami, who is still looking to break out in this WBC.

8:19 p.m. — Twice now Ohtani has left the box thinking he has a walk, only to get snatched back by a called strike. That one brings the count full. On the payoff pitch, Sandoval throws a slider that gets slapped into left center and caught by Alek Thomas. Good job there by Sandoval as Yoshida steps up.

8:16 p.m. — Now Kondoh pulls one into right for a base hit, bringing Ohtani up with one out against Sandoval. Sandoval has still faced the minimum thus far, technically. But Ohtani rarely grounds into double plays and there are bigger matters at hand for Sandoval, like keeping the ball in the yard.

8:15 p.m. — Nootbaar grounds into the shift at short behind second, and that will bring Kondoh to the plate with one out.

8:13 p.m. — The order turns over now, as Lars Nootbaar steps up.

Bottom of fourth inning: Mexico 3, Japan 0

8:12 p.m. — An emotional Sasaki gets out of the inning via groundout, but not before some damage was gone.

8:08 p.m. — After Paredes got jammed up and singled to left, Urias finally jumps on a Sasaki pitch! Sasaki missed with a splitter, and Urias jumped on it for a three-run shot. It’s the first miss of the night for Sasaki, and the hero of the Puerto Rico game.

8:06 p.m. — Sasaki got Paredes down 1-2, then missed low with a slider to make it 2-2. Paredes is definitely fighting up there, as he fouls another one off.

8:03 p.m. — Sometimes great pitching works against smart fielding. Tellez takes a 102-mph fastball the other way against the shift for a hit, bringing up Paredes with a runner on and two outs.

8 p.m. — Sasaki gets Verduo swinging for the first out of the inning, and that brings up previous strikeout victim Joey Meneses. Meneses makes some good contact but flies out to Yoshida in right for the second out. Rowdy Tellez will try to keep the inning alive.

8 p.m. — Alex Verdugo comes up next for Mexico against Sasaki, who has settled into a nice groove for Japan. That splitter is some nasty work.

Top of fourth inning: Mexico 0, Japan 0

7:56 p.m. — Nakamura with an excuse me swing lines out behind second for the third out of the inning. A 10-pitch inning for Sandoval, who seems to be taking the Sasaki discourse personally in this one.

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7:54 p.m. — Sandoval has two quick outs, as Tetsuto Yamada becomes the fifth strikeout victim here in the third and Sosuke Genda bunts into a 1-3 putout. That brings up Yuhei Nakamura, the catcher batting .600 here in the WBC.

Bottom of third inning: Mexico 0, Japan 0

7:50 p.m. — Arozarena goes down 0-2 and lines out to first to get Sasaki out of the inning. As a reminder, the pitch count limit here in the semifinals is 95, so Sasaki could be in this for the long haul.

7:47 p.m. — Both of these pitchers are working quickly. Austin Barnes is up for Mexico after a quick Alek Thomas groundout. Barnes grounds out to third for the second out of the inning, and that turns the order to Arozarena.

Top of third inning: Mexico 0, Japan 0

7:40 p.m. — After a Murakami strikeout, Mexico turns a sensational double play from Trejo to Urias to Tellez. Great play there to get out of the inning with no damage for Sandoval.

7:40 p.m. — New Red Sox outfielder Masataka Yoshida is on with a leadoff single for Japan, bringing up NPB MVP Munetaka Murakami.

Bottom of second inning: Mexico 0, Japan 0

7:34 p.m. — With runners on first and second, Alan Trejo grounds into a tailor-made 6-4-3 double play, getting Japan out of the inning. Sandoval will be back out in what is shaping up to be a pitcher’s duel.

7:33 p.m. — With all of this talk about Sasaki’s fastball-splitter combo and how hard it is to recognize, here’s a look at what it looks like.

7:31 p.m. — Urias ripped one up the middle off of Sasaki there, who is nodding as though he’s fine. It was 75.4 mph off the bat into Sasaki’s stomach, and he’ll take some pitches to ensure he’s alright.

7:28 p.m. — Paredes brings a respite to the pitcher dominance here, as he works the count to 3-1 and ropes one to left center for the first hit of the game. That brings up Luis Urias with one down and a runner on first.

7:26 p.m. — Isaac Paredes of the Rays steps up next. Paredes is at .300 for the tournament to date.

7:26 p.m. — Rowdy Tellez is up next for Mexico in the cleanup spot, and he grounds into the shift for the first out of the inning.

Top of second inning: Mexico 0, Japan 0

7:23 p.m. — Sandoval comes back with another slider here, and get gets Ohtani looking on the edge to strike out the side. Huge answer there after Sasaki’s dominant start.

7:22 p.m. — Sandoval is much more finesse than Sasaki, but he really seems to have Japan off-balance. He’s thrown a sinker, three straight changeups, and a slider to Ohtani to get the count full.

7:20 p.m. — Sandoval logs another strikeout with a slider on the corner, getting Kondoh looking. That brings up a smiling Ohtani.

7:18 p.m. — Kensuke Kondoh is up next for Japan, batting .389 so far in this tournament. He’s a patient hitter who isn’t going to chase often.

7:16 p.m. — A familiar face leads off for Japan, as Lars Nootbaar steps up against Sandoval. Sandoval does, indeed, come out the offspeed stuff early, getting Nootbaar swinging on a slider down in the zone.

Bottom of first inning: Mexico 0, Japan 0

7:15 p.m. — Sasaki gets Meneses swinging on a forkball down and away, and he’s through the first inning with two strikeouts. Quick work there for the 21-year-old dealer.

7:13 p.m. — Sasaki got a bit confident there. Tried to blow a fastball by Verdugo but Verdugo put a good swing on it and took it the other way. He flies out to left, but put a bit of a charge in the crowd with it. That brings up Joey Meneses, who catalyzed Mexico’s dominant win over the United States.

7:12 p.m. — Alex Verdugo steps up for Mexico with one down, as Mexico looks to clock Sasaki here.

7:10 p.m. — Outstanding start here for Sasaki. He worked Arozarena away with his fastball, got him fishing on the splitter, and then blew a 102 mph fastball right by him for the first out. Welcome to The Monster. He’s that good.

7:09 p.m. — Randy Arozarena, who has been excellent, will lead off for Mexico against Sasaki.

7:02 p.m. — In terms of pitching arsenal, Sandoval will attack this Samurai Japan lineup with a heavy helping of slider-changeup-fastball in equal measure. Sasaki, meanwhile, is a fastball-splitter pitcher whose fastball stays around 100 mph and whose splitter falls off the table.

Top of first inning: Mexico 0, Japan 0

7:01 p.m. — Think Ohtani is ready?

7 p.m. — Sandoval vs. Sasaki is a clean matchup, with both players getting one start to date in this year’s WBC. Sasaki is 1-0 and gave up two hits and a run in 3 2/3 against the Czech Republic. He also struck out eight and walked two. Sandoval, meanwhile, also gave up a run on two hits in three innings. He struck out two and walked two in the process.

6:45 p.m. — Japan vs. Mexico is just around the corner, as the World Baseball Classic semifinals conclude tonight. The winner of this game will advance to play the United States in the championship to try to defeat the defending WBC champions. Here’s a look at both lineups. Patrick Sandoval is pitching for Mexico, while Roki Sasaki is on the mound for Japan.

Japan vs. Mexico start time

Japan and Mexico will begin at 7 p.m. ET. They’ll be playing at loanDepot Park in Miami, home of MLB’s Marlins.

How to watch Japan vs. Mexico in World Baseball Classic

  • TV channel: FS1
  • Live stream: FoxSports.com, fuboTV

The Fox family of networks is televising the World Baseball Classic, and Japan vs. Mexico will be on FS1.

The game can be streamed via FoxSports.com or fuboTV, which offers a free trial.

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