Defending champions New Zealand have suffered their second loss in three days at the softball world championship in Prague.
The Black Sox have fallen 5-1 to unbeaten Japan in pool play, after suffering an upset defeat to Mexico on Monday (NZT).
Japan took control of the contest in the opeing inning, with two in-the-park home runs and another run in the second to lead 3-0.
New Zealand had a chance to tie the game up in the fifth inning, when they loaded bases, but could only score on run through a single to captain Nathan Nukunuku.
Their rivals scored two runs in the bottom of the inning to seal victory. For the third time in the tournament, the Kiwis were outhit 8-5.
They next face the winless Phillipines at 11:30pm Wednesday night (NZT).
Four teams from each of the two pools qualify for quarter-finals - the Black Sox currently sit tied for third, behind Japan and Argentina, and alongside Cuba.