by Mike Potter
Justin Smoak (pictured) and Terry Tiffee blasted back-to-back homers in the third inning, leading defending champion Team USA to a 4-2 win over Japan at the IBAF World Cup in Macerata, Italy.
Brad Lincoln pitched 7 1/3 innings in the victory before a sellout crowd at Stadio Comunale, while Nate Field collected the save.
The USA is 3-0 in the second round, while Japan is 1-1.
Trevor Plouffe's seventh-inning double added an insurance run for the Red, White and Blue in the seventh.
Smoak's homer was his sixth of the competition, tying the USA Baseball record for a single World Cup. Tino Martinez hit half a dozen in 1988.
Team USA's next game is against Chinese Taipei on Thursday at 2 p.m. (EDT) in Turin. Todd Redmond (1-0) is the scheduled starter.