Baseball: Dutch defeat Australia 4-1

Jonathan Schoop's two-run homer helped the Netherlands to a 4-1 victory over Australia Tuesday in the first round of the World Baseball Classic, keeping alive Dutch hopes of a second round place.

The Dutch saw their win-loss record improve to 2-1, following an earlier 8-3 defeat to Taiwan, while the underdog Aussies finished winless in pool B.

Taiwan, who lead the group with two wins, will later in the day face South Korea, who have one win and a loss, in a game before an expected sell-out crowd of 20,000 fans in the central city of Taichung.

The result will decide which two teams will go through to the second round in Tokyo.

The Netherlands opened Tuesday's scoring against the Australians in the first inning when Roger Bernadina singled to send back to the home plate Andrelton Simmons, who drove in a double.

They widened their lead to 4-0 on Schoop's two-run homer -- one single each by Curt Smith and Dashenko Ricardo -- and Simmons' RBI grounder to the first base.

The Aussies scored their only run in the seventh as Brad Harman knocked in an RBI single from the Dutch squad's third relief pitcher Leon Boyd.

Right-handed Dutch starter Rob Cordemans yielded only two hits to the Australian batters in five innings, with four relievers combined allowing six other hits.

The Dutch batters drove in as many hits from three Australian pitchers -- Dushan Ruzic, Chris Oxspring of Detroit Tigers and Andrew Russell.

Two teams will emerge from the five-day Asian second round, starting in Tokyo Friday, and will fight it out with the top sides from pools C and D, held in Puerto Rico and Arizona, in the final series in San Francisco.