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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Ryan Lavarnway hit a two-run homer in the third inning and Nate Freiman added a three-run shot in the ninth to help Israel beat Taiwan 15-7 Tuesday and improve to 2-0 in the World Baseball Classic.
Israel's batters chased Taiwan starter Chun-Lin Kuo from the game before he could secure his third out, opening the top of the first with four straight hits and tagging Kuo for four runs in the frame.
Corey Baker went 4 2/3 scoreless innings, scattering three hits and striking out three. The 27-year-old right-hander is in the St. Louis Cardinals' organization and reached Triple-A last season.
Israel had 10 different players record a hit, including four players with three hits and two others with multiple hits. Freiman drove in four runs, Tyler Krieger drove in three, and Ike Davis and Lavarnway each contributed two RBIs.
After beating Pool A host South Korea and Taiwan in its first two games, Israel can clinch a spot in the second round with a win over the Netherlands on Wednesday.
"One of the goals is to not put the cart before the horse," Israel manager Jerry Weinstein said. "We're not in the second round yet. We're preparing for the game with the Netherlands and that's what we're thinking about right now.
Taiwan scored four runs in the ninth, but the game was already out of reach by then.
Israel entered the tournament ranked No. 41 by the World Baseball Softball Confederation and has already beaten third-ranked South Korea and fourth-ranked Taiwan.
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