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USA beats Japan for baseball bronze

Beijing, China (Sports Network) - Taylor Teagarden hit the go-ahead two-run double in the fifth inning and Jason Donald followed with a two-run homer as the United States beat Japan, 8-4, in the Olympic baseball bronze medal game.

Matt Brown slugged a three-run homer, while Matt LaPorta also homered for the United States in its final Olympic game for at least eight years.

This is the final year of baseball in the Olympics until further notice. It's been voted out for the 2012 London Games, but could return for 2016. Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, attended part of Saturday's game.

Norichika Aoki had a three-run homer and Masahiro Araki also homered for Japan.

Team USA, which didn't qualify for the Olympics four years ago in baseball, won its third medal, adding to the gold from 2000 and bronze from 1996.

Japan defeated the U.S., 4-2, in extra innings when they met in the preliminary round, but a big fifth inning sent the Americans on their way to victory Saturday.

The win came one day after a 10-2 semifinal loss to defending champion Cuba.

Brett Anderson pitched seven innings to get the win, allowing four hits, walking three and striking out six.

"It was a great game," USA manager Davey Johnson said. "Our bats woke up. Brett pitched a great ball game."

Kenshin Kawakami was saddled with the loss after surrendering four hits and four runs in 2 1/3 innings.

The teams traded three runs in the third inning. Aoki homered to give Japan a 4-1 lead, but in the bottom half and two men on base after an error and a walk to Jayson Nix, Brown homered.

Brown doubled with one out in the fifth and Nate Schierholtz walked. Brown stole a base with two down, and Teagarden then doubled home the tie-breaking runs. Donald followed with a homer off the pole in left field.

Japan threatened in the ninth inning, but reliever Kevin Jepsen put out the fire to seal the victory.

LaPorta plated the first American run with a solo shot in the second inning to tie the score.

08/23 04:14:54 ET

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