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Updated: November 15, 2018
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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2018 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Henk Seppen)

Samurai Japan also wins last game against MLB All Stars

NAGOYA (Japan) - With a 4-1 victory on Thursday (November 15), Samurai Japan also won the last game against the Major League Baseball All Star Team. For Japan, this was the fifth win in the 6-game MLB Japan All-Star Series of this year.

With that, the dominating team of Samurai Japan won the Series, 5-1. Two years ago, Samuari Japan also won the Series, winning three of five games played.

In the ten previous Series between 1986 and 2006, the MLB All Stars played against an All Star Team from Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). Nine of these Series were won by the MLB Team. The only time the NPB Team won was in 1990 when the Japanese squad won four of seven games played.

It marks the first time in the 12 Series played so far that the MLB Team won only one game. The MLB Team lost the first two games in Tokyo. On Friday, the Japanese All Stars won 7-6 and on Saturday, the team recorded a convincing 12-6 victory. In the opening game, the MLB Team led 6-4, but Japan then scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. In the second game, the MLB Team trailed 12-1 halfway the seventh inning, but then then scored five runs to make it a 12-6 score.

On Sunday, the MLB All Star Team won its lone game. In the third game in Tokyo, the All Stars win 7-3.

On Tuesday, at Hiroshima, in the fourth game, the MLB Team led 3-1 after eight innings, but Japan then scored four runs in the top of the ninth to win 5-3. On Wednesday, for the third time in the Series, Japan came from behind and turned a deficit into a victory. The MLB Team led 5-1 after six innings, but Japan again staged a late rally, scoring four runs in the seventh inning to come alongside. Japan then took the lead in the eighth to turn the game its way.

Today, Japan had another 4-run rally, but this time, the runs were already scored in the second inning. Hereafter, Japan hold onto the lead in the remainder of the game. The MLB team scored its lone run in the eighth inning.

For the second day in a row, the MLB Team outhit Samurai Japan. On Wednesday, the MLB Team collected 14 basehits and Japan seven. Today, the MLB All Stars has ten basehits, Japan eight.

...Ryosuke Kikucki hitting for Japan...
...vs. Netherlands during the...
...2017 World Baseball Classic...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In the top of the second inning, Samuari Japan was productive from the beginning off of starter Brian Johnson (Boston Red Sox). Hotaka Yamakawa led off with a walk and the bases then got loaded when Tomoya Mori and Shuta Tonosaki both singled. All three runners then scored when Sosuke Genda followed with a baseclearing, 3-run triple. Hereafter, Erasmo Ramírez (Seattle Mariners) took over the pitching. With one out, he saw Genda score the next run on a sacfrice fly by Ryosuke Kikuchi to make it a 4-0 score.

While Japan got into scoring position only one more time after the second inning, the MLB Team got several scoring opportunities.

The MLB Team got its first baserunners in the bottom of the third inning. Kevin Pillar (Toronto Blue Jays) led off with a single and Robinson Chirinos (Texas Rangers) walked. But a force out followed and the next two batters were retired.

In the fourth inning and fifth inning, the first two MLB-batters again reached base. In the fourth, Ronald Acuña, Jr. (Atlanta Braves) and Eugenio Suárez (Cincinnati Reds) singled, but they were left behind. In the fifth, Robinson Chirinos led off with a walk, then Chris Taylor (Los Angeles Dodgers) singled, but they also stranded.

The MLB Team got another scoring opportunity in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Chirinos and Taylor both singled, but they were left behind again.

The MLB team then finally scored in the eighth inning when Ronald Acuña, Jr. led off with a homerun off of new pitcher Yu Satoh. Hereafter, another scoring opportunity followed, as the MLB team got the bases loaded. Eugenio Suárez singled and with one out, Mitch Haniger (Seattle Mariners) and Kevin Pillar did the same. But hereafter, Satoh closed the inning by striking out Chirinos and Taylor.

In the top of the ninth, Japan got its first runner in scoring position since the second inning, but a double play ended the at bat. In the bottom of the ninth, closer Yasuaki Yamasaki retired the side and ended the game with a strikeout.

(November 15)

Related Articles:
Samurai Japan nips MLB All Stars to win 4th game & Series. (November 14)
Samurai Japan wins third game vs. MLB All Stars. (November 13)
MLB All Stars win 1st game in Japan after 2 losses. (November 11)
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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