Masataka Yoshida might’ve just given the Boston Red Sox a preview of what’s to come in 2023.
While representing Japan in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, Yoshida took just one swing of the bat to completely swing the pendulum back his squad’s way in the semifinal matchup against Mexico.
In the seventh inning and trailing Mexico, 3-0, Yoshida delivered a game-tying home run, golfing a pitch by his knees to deep right field to give Japan new life in the win-or-go-home contest. The three-run blast was Yoshida’s third hit in four at-bats and rose his WBC tournament batting average to .474 with 13 RBIs.
Watch Yoshida go deep here, courtesy of FOX Sports.
Yoshida is set to make his Major League Baseball debut campaign in Boston after the Red Sox signed the Japanese standout to a five-year contract, worth a reported $90 million this offseason.
However, Yoshida wasn’t the only Red Sox representative to come through in a nail-biting moment.
Mexico retook the lead, 4-3, in the top of the eighth after Red Sox teammate Alex Verdugo delivered an RBI double. It was Verdugo’s first hit of the game and the fellow outfielder mentioned before first pitch that Red Sox hitting coach Pete Fatse spoke with him regarding his WBC hitting slump.
The winner of Japan-Mexico will advance to the WBC championship game to face off against the United States.