In the World Baseball Classic, Alex Rodriguez hits a bases-loaded, two-out single in the 9th inning, to give the United States a victory over Japan, 4 – 3, but the victory is shrouded in controversy when an umpire’s ruling denies the losers a crucial run. Japan looks to have broken open a 3 – 3 tie at the top of the 8th when Tsuyoshi Nishioka comes home on Akinori Iwamura’s sacrifice fly off reliever Joe Nathan with the bases loaded. Second base umpire Brian Knight rules the run good, but U.S. manager Buck Martinez races from the dugout to appeal to home plate umpire Bob Davidson. Davidson overrules Knight and calls Nishioka out for leaving third base early, a decision that brings Japan manager Sadaharu Oh and a translator out of the dugout to argue the call. Television replays do not show that Nishioka left before outfielder Randy Winn made the catch. It is a crushing defeat for Japan, which led 3 – 0 after two innings and never trailed until Rodriguez’s game-winning hit. Ichiro Suzuki puts the U.S. in an early hole with a lead-off home run off Jake Peavy to open the game. Japan adds two more runs in the 2nd. Chipper Jones answers back for the Americans with a towering home run but the U.S. cannot get level until the 6th when Derrek Lee crushes a two-run shot. In the second game, Jae Weong Seo pitches 5 1/3 strong innings, Seung Yeop Lee hits a two-run home run, and South Korea beats Mexico, 2 – 1, for its fourth straight victory in the Classic.