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Japan 13, Nicaragua 6

July 27, 1996

ATLANTA (AP) _ Japan stayed in contention for a medal-round berth in Olympic baseball by hitting four homers _ two in a six-run first inning _ in a 13-6 victory over Nicaragua on Saturday.

Nobuhiko Matsunaka hit a three-run homer and Tomoaki Sato had a two-run shot off starter Fredy Corea as Japan (2-3) went up 6-0 in the first. Yoshitomo Tani added a two-run homer in the second.

Kosuke Fukudome hit a two-run homer to make it 10-4 in the fifth.

Despite the loss, Nicaragua (3-2) remained in third place in the round-robin tournament, which narrows the field of eight teams to four for medal play.

The start of the game was delayed two hours and 15 minutes by rain, which fell intermittently during the first few innings.

Matsunaka had four RBIs and Fukudome added three for Japan. Bayardo Davila Montiel singled twice, driving in three runs for Nicaragua.

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