Ohtani ready to pitch vs Trout, USA in relief at WBC final
By RONALD BLUM
AP Baseball Writer
MIAMI (AP) — That matchup between Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani in the World Baseball Classic may not happen. Japan rallied in the ninth inning to beat Mexico and advance to Tuesday night’s championship game against the United States, but Shota Imanaga will start on the mound for the Samurai Warriors. If Trout is to bat against his Los Angeles Angels teammate, it would only be if Ohtani makes a rare relief appearance. Japan manager Hideki Kuriyama said he likely will use the same starting lineup as he did in the semifinal Monday night against Mexico, when Ohtani was the designated hitter and doubled to start the ninth-inning comeback.