Japan Series Kicks Off With Close Exhibition Win For MLB
By Dan Hughes
Robinson Cano struck out looking with the bases loaded, but Evan Longoria (Rays) had his back. Longoria drilled the first pitch he saw from Yuki Egarashi for a grand slam, giving the MLB All-Stars a 6-0 lead that was almost erased.
A split squad of Hanshin Tigers and Yomiuri Giants battled back to make it interesting but the MLB All-Stars held on for the 8-7 win in the kickoff of the Japan Series at Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya.
Cano was 2-for-3 with a run scored and the distinction of having the first hit of the Japan Series, while Salvador Perez (Royals) and Dexter Fowler (Astros) also homered for the All-Stars.
Japan struck for five runs off Franklin Morales (Rockies) in the seventh but Jerry Blevins (Nationals), Jose Veras (Astros) and Jeff Beliveau (Rays) were able to hold serve to close out the win for Chris Capuano (free agent) who pitched four shutout innings allowing a hit and a walk while fanning three.
This game will be rebroadcast on MLB Network today at 6 PM PST today on MLB Network. The Japan Series officially gets underway tonight as the MLB All-Stars take on Samurai Japan (the Japanese national team) at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka.
Angels right-hander Matt Shoemaker will be on the hill for MLB after a terrific rookie season in which he went 16-4 with a 3.04 ERA in 27 games (20 starts).
The game will air live on MLB Network and MLB.TV at 1 AM PT, and be re-aired at 6 PM on MLB Network. We will have a recap of the action here at 7 AM.