Baseball-Gregorius leads way as Netherlands thump Israel
March 13 (Reuters) - Didi Gregorius homered and drove in five runs as the Netherlands crushed Israel 12-2 on Monday in Tokyo to move closer to a semi-final spot at the World Baseball Classic.
The win left the Netherlands with a record of 1-1 in second- round play behind Pool E leaders Japan who won their opening game.
The loss was the first of the tournament for Israel who dip to 1-1 and must play Japan in their Pool E finale while the Netherlands take on winless Cuba.
The top two teams in the pool advance.
Jair Jurrjens, who pitched in the Major Leagues for eight seasons, gave the Netherlands six solid innings of work, limiting Israel to one run on five hits.
Dutch bats, meanwhile, pounded Israel pitching for 15 hits with Andrelton Simmons, Wladimir Balentien and Yurendell de Caster each collecting three.
But it was Gregorius who did much of the damage, the New York Yankees shortstop keying a four-run fourth inning with a three-run blast into the Tokyo Dome's right field bleachers. (Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto, Editing by Ed Osmond)