updated 8/23/2008 1:42:32 AM ET 2008-08-23T05:42:32

The U.S. baseball team had to settle for bronze, certainly not the medal color the Americans had planned to bring home.

Taylor Teagarden hit a tiebreaking two-run double in the fifth and Jason Donald followed with a two-run homer off the left-field foul pole, lifting the United States to an 8-4 victory over Japan on Saturday.

The Americans (6-3) bounced back 15 hours after a demoralizing 10-2 semifinal loss to defending champion Cuba, finding an answer on offense each time Japan took a lead.

Japan (4-5) won the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006 and had been widely considered the favorite to win gold in the Beijing Games, so the result marked a disappointing finish for the Japanese in baseball’s final Olympic tournament for now.

The men of the United States beat Japan to take the bronze medal in baseball in an 8-4 win on Saturday.

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