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Updated: November 11, 2018
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2018 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Henk Seppen)

MLB All Stars win first game in Japan after two losses

BUNKYŌ, TOKYO (Japan) - The Major League Baseball All Star Team has won its first game of this years MLB Japan All-Star Series against Samurai Japan, winning 7-3 on Sunday (November 11), The MLB Team lost the first two games. On Friday, the Japanese All Stars won 7-6 and on Saturday, the team recorded a convincing 12-6 victory.

The two teams now will travel to Hiroshima where the next game will be played on Tuesday. Thereafter, two more games will be played in Nagoya.

On Sunday, at the Tokyo Dome, Yadier Molina led the MLB All Star Team to its first victory. The 36-year old catcher of the St. Louis Cardinals recorded three basehits, including a 3-run homerun. Molina also had three basehits in the first game of the Series.

The MLB Team opened the score in the fourth when J.T. Realmuto (Miami Marlins) led off with a homerun. He also homered in Saturday's game. Hereafter, Yadier Molina singled, as did Ronald Acuña, Jr. (Atlanta Braves) with one out. Next batter Juan Soto (Washington Nationals) also made good contact. Soto homered in each of the first two games and might have hit another one, but the ball hit the roof of the Tokyo Dome and then was caught by rightfielder Shogo Akiyama. According to the Tokyo Dome-rules, a ball that hit the roof in fair territory remains in play.

Samurai Japan came alongside in its fourth at bat on a 2-out double by Shuta Tonosaki off of starting pitcher Scott Barlow (Kansas City Royals). That scored Yuki Yanagita, who had singled with one out. Yanagita was the hero for Samurai Japan in the first two games. After Tonosaki's double, Seiji Uebayashi walked. But the inning ended when Molina picked off Uebayashi at first base.

...Yadier Molina hit a 3-run homerun...
...On the photo, he hits for Puerto Rico...
...against the Netherlands in the Semi-Final...
...of the 2017 World Baseball Classic... Los Angeles (USA)...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In the fifth inning, the MLB Team re-took the lead on a throwing error. Mitch Haniger (Seattle Mariners) led off with a single, then Kiké Hernández (Los Angeles Dodgers) walked. Whit Merrifield (Kansas City Royals) followed with an infield-hit to pitcher Shinsaburo Tawata, who then also made a throwing error, enabling Haniger to score. With one out, Yadier Molina hit a 3-run homerun to lift the lead to 5-1.

In the bottom of the fifth, Ryosuke Kikuchi singled for Japan with one out off of starter Scott Barlow, who then was relieved by Vidal Nuño (Tampa Bay Rays). As these games are All Star Games, a starting pitcher doesn't have to throw the required five complete innings to be eligible to become the winning pitcher. He just has to be the pitcher at the moment his team takes the lead and of course holds on to it. With that, Barlow, who threw 4 1/3 inning, became the winning pitcher in today's game.

In the seventh inning, two more runs were added. With one out, Juan Soto and Eugenio Suarez (Cincinnati Reds) hit back-to-back doubles, resulting in a run. Suarez then scored on a following single by Mitch Haniger.

Samurai Japan then scored its final two runs in the bottom of the ninth off of closer John Brebbia (St. Louis Cardinals). He began with two strikeouts, but then gave up a single to Seiji Uebayashi. Hereafter, Hotaka Yamakawa and Ryosuke Kikuchi followed with runscoring doubles to make it a 7-3 score.

(November 11)

Related Articles:
MLB All Stars empty-handed vs. Samurai Japan. (November 10)
Hensley Meulens Bench Coach MLB All Stars for Japan Tour. (October 31)

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