Japan's team of professional all-stars won the nation's first Olympic baseball gold medal, beating the United States 2-0 in Saturday's Tokyo Games final.
Samurai Japan's Masato Morishita pitched five scoreless innings to earn the win, and four relievers completed the six-hit shutout.
"The U.S. has a really good lineup, but Morishita was bent on going after them without holding back. That was what we talked about doing and he pitched a gem of a game," said Japan catcher Takuya Kai. "All the pitchers did a great job."
U.S. starter Nick Martinez, who plays professionally in Japan, worked six innings. He allowed a run on 21-year-old slugger Munetaka Murakami's third-inning home run.
The host team scored an unearned run in the eighth against Japan-based reliever Scott McGough.
Ryoji Kuribayashi, one of two first-year pros on manager Atsunori Inaba's team, worked the ninth inning to earn his third save. The rookie also won two games in relief as Japan stayed unbeaten in five games en route to the gold medal.
Japan shortstop Hayato Sakamoto, one of the team's veteran leaders, said, "This is such a relief. Nobody thought this was going to be easy, and as one would expect the difference in this game was Japan's strengths -- pitching and defense."
Earlier in the day, the Dominican Republic beat defending Olympic champion South Korea 10-6 in the bronze medal game.
Japan won the 1984 Olympic demonstration tournament before baseball was added to the core Olympic program from 1992 to 2008. It was returned for the Tokyo Games by local organizers, but it will not be a part of the 2024 Paris Olympics.