Taiwanese city of Taichung first-time Classic host



SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Japan will host first and second rounds of pool play at two sites in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, which is expanding from 16 to 28 teams with the winner being named world champion for the first time.

The WBC announced its venues and pools Tuesday outside the Giants’ AT&T Park, which will host the semifinals and championship game in the event’s third run.

San Juan, Puerto Rico, will host games for the third time at Hiram Bithorn Stadium. Those games will be played March 7-10 featuring Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and a qualifier.

The Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chase Field and the club’s shared Scottsdale spring training facility with the Rockies, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, hosts Pool D games between the U.S., Italy, Mexico and a qualifier.