Jimenez, Cuba down Brazil

Mar 3, 2013 - 7:29 AM Fukuoka, Japan (Sports Network) - Ismel Jimenez struck out six and allowed just four hits over 4 2/3 scoreless frames, as Cuba opened its World Baseball Classic schedule with a 5-2 victory over Brazil at the Fukuoka Yahoo! Japan Dome.

Jimenez (1-0) earned the victory for his effort, while Raciel Iglesias struck out five over three scoreless innings in relief to earn the save.

Erisbel Arruebarruena finished 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored, while Guillermo Heredia, Alexei Bell, and Raul Gonzalez added an RBI apiece for Cuba, which will play its next game on Monday against China.

Andre Rienzo (0-1) made the start for Brazil and gave up two runs on one hit and four walks over 4 2/3 innings. Daniel Matsumoto went 2-for-4 and registered the lone RBI for Brazil, which opened the WBC with a 5-3 loss to Japan.

Cuba plated a pair in the fifth to jump in front. Jose Fernandez worked a leadoff walk before moving to third on Arruebarruena's single two batters later.

Fernandez then scored on Heredia's groundout, and after Ernesto Noris replaced Rienzo on the mound, Bell belted an RBI single to score Arruebarruena for a 2-0 lead.

Cuba then added three more in the sixth to take full control. Frederich Cepeda and Jose Abreu opened the frame with back-to-back singles before Alfredo Despaigne was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

After Hugo Kanabushi replaced Gabriel Asakura on the hill, pinch-hitter Gonzalez grounded into a fielder's choice to score Cepeda.

Eriel Sanchez followed with a single to re-load the bases before Arruebarruena laced a single into left field to score Despaigne and Gonzalez for a 5-0 lead.

Brazil answered with a pair in the bottom half on an RBI single from Matsumoto and a double-play groundout from Reinaldo Sato that scored Leonardo Reginatto to make it 5-2.

Iglesias entered to start the seventh and allowed just one hit over three frames to help Cuba hang on for the victory.

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