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Hot tempers, ejections mark 9-1 US win over China

Beijing, China (Sports Network) - Tempers flared and ejections were handed out in the United States' hotly-contested 9-1 victory over China in Olympic baseball Monday night.

Jake Arrieta gave up just two hits and struck out seven Chinese batters in six shutout innings, and Nate Schierholtz went 2-for-3 with three RBI to lead the U.S. (3-2) to its second straight win following an 11-inning loss to Cuba last Friday.

The game turned ugly after Matt LaPorta ran into Chinese catcher Wang Wei while scoring on a Taylor Teagarden double in the fifth inning to give the U.S. a 4-0 lead.

It knocked Wang from the game and the rest of the Olympics, according to China's manager, Jim Lefebvre.

Things didn't get better after Schierholtz slid hard into replacement catcher Yang Yang in the very next inning on a Matt Brown double. Yang was held back by teammates and Lefebvre was ejected from the game.

"He was blocking the plate," said Schierholtz.

The ugliness escalated in the seventh inning when China's Chen Kun hit LaPorta in the head with a pitch, drawing an ejection for Chen and China's pitching coach Steve Ontiveros.

LaPorta, a prospect in the Milwaukee Brewers organization, underwent a CAT scan and was diagnosed with a mild concussion. He will be assessed daily, according to USA Olympic Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. William Kuprevich.

"It's a game, people get ejected," said Schierholz, who added that Chen's pitch at LaPorta's head would have touched off a brawl in the United States.

"It's a little different here," he said. "Tempers are hot, but I don't know what the implications of everything are here."

U.S. manager Davey Johnson defended his players' going hard into home plate, saying the catchers were blocking it both times. He hoped the Chen pitch in the seventh inning wasn't in response to the two plays.

"I hope the ball got away from him," Johnson said.

The U.S. ended up scoring four runs in the seventh inning to take a commanding 9-0 lead. China finally scored in the ninth inning on Yang's homer.

In other baseball action Monday, Yoshihisa Naruse tossed seven strong innings to lead Japan to a 1-0 blanking of Canada; Korea scored a run in the seventh inning to down Chinese Taipei 9-8; and Cuba routed the Netherlands 14-3 in a game ended by the mercy rule.

08/18 13:30:35 ET


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