USA Beats China, 9-1 in Ejection-Filled Contest

BEIJING (AP) - The U.S. baseball team has beaten China 9-1 in a game that featured three ejections.

Jake Arrieta struck out 7 in 6 shutout innings Monday night and Taylor Teagarden and Nate Schierholtz each hit 2-run doubles for the U.S.

China's top player, catcher Wang Wei, was knocked out of the game with a left knee injury following a collision at the plate with former Huntsville Star Matt LaPorta, who slid into the plate to give the U.S. a 4-0 lead in the 5th.

At that point, Chinese manager and former major leaguer Dave Johnson went ballistic and was tossed from the game.

After Schierholtz made a hard slide home against backup catcher Yang Yang on a sacrifice fly in the 6th to make it 5-0, Yang was held back from Schierholtz by teammates. Jim Lefebvre, managing the team in place of Johnson, was ejected for arguing about the rough play.

Leading off the 7th, LaPorta took a fastball straight off the helmet on a pitch from Zheng Xu. LaPorta went down, escalating another confrontation and Chinese reliever Chen Kun and China pitching coach Steve Ontiveros were ultimately tossed.

LaPorta was assisted to the dugout and was taken to the hospital to be checked out.

With the score 9-0, Yang pulverized a Blaine Neal fastball for a home run that prevented the shutout and the embarrassment of losing to the Olympics' 10-run rule. To make a statement, Yang danced his way around third and leaped to stomp on the plate.

China was held to four hits by four U.S. pitchers.

The U.S. is tied with Japan for 3rd place with a 3-2 record. They can clinch a semi-final berth with a win against Chinese Taipei (1-4) Tuesday at 6 pm CT.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)