Japan beats MLB All-Stars 12-6 to take 2-0 series lead
TOKYO (AP) — Yuki Yanagita had a home run and four RBIs as Japan scored the first nine runs and beat the MLB All-Stars 12-6 Saturday to open a 2-0 lead in the six-game exhibition series.
Yanagita, who hit a game-ending two-run homer in the opening 7-6 win, had an RBI single in the first off Erasmo Ramirez at the Tokyo Dome and hit a two-run homer in the third for a 5-0 lead.
"The entire lineup was able to string together hits," Japan manager Atsunori Inaba said. "I think we are on the right track now, and I would like to see us continue to do the same in the game tomorrow."
Yanagita singled in another run against Brian Johnson in a four-run fifth as Japan went ahead 9-0.
Shogo Akiyama had three hits and three RBIs.
Ramirez, the loser, allowed five runs and six hits in three innings. Johnson gave up seven runs — four earned — and six hits in 3 2/3 innings.
"I thought tonight's game actually turned early," MLB manager Don Mattingly said. "They were able to score early. We came out and got first and third and couldn't score early and we lost momentum right there."
National League Rookie of the Year finalist Juan Soto homered for the second straight game, a fifth-inning home down the left-field line that drove in the first run for the MLB All-Stars, who were the home team.
"We are not going to allow these two games to dictate the series," Pillar said.
Winner Naoyuki Uwasawa struck out seven in five innings, allowing one run and four hits.
The series continues Sunday with another game in Tokyo, followed by one game in Hiroshima on Tuesday and two games in Nagoya on Wednesday and Thursday.