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Korea downs defending gold medalist Cuba in baseball

Beijing, China (Sports Network) - South Korea rallied for five runs in the fourth inning in a 7-4 victory over Cuba on Tuesday to remain the only unbeaten baseball team in pool play at the Beijing Olympics.

The South Koreans, behind two hits and two RBI from Ko Youngmin, improved to 6-0 in pool play heading into the final day of preliminary place. It was their first win over Cuba in Olympic competition.

South Korea cliched the top spot in the semifinals, which begin on Friday. It will face the fourth-place team.

Cuba, meanwhile, suffered its first loss and dropped into second place behind South Korea at 5-1.

Pitching ace Norge Luis Vera, after beating Japan in Cuba's first game, threw two hitless innings on Tuesday and was spelled by Vicyohandry Odelin, who surrendered five runs -- three earned -- on three hits.

Cuban manager Antonio Pacheco said the result didn't cause him anxiety.

"Korea is a good team because they won all their previous games and they pitched well today," he said "But we tried different pitchers because the final stage is more important than today."

08/19 08:40:52 ET

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