Yanagita’s home run off Yates lifts Ja­pan over MLB in tour opener

Santa Fe New Mexican - - SPORTS -

TOKYO — Yuki Yanagita hit a game-end­ing, two-run home run off Kirby Yates in the ninth in­ning, and Ja­pan beat the MLB All-Stars 7-6 on Fri­day in the opener of a six-game ex­hi­bi­tion se­ries.

Juan Soto, Car­los San­tana and Amed Rosario home­red to build a 6-4 MLB lead.

Yates re­lieved Collin McHugh to start the ninth and gave up a lead­off sin­gle to pinch-hit­ter Seiji Ue­bayashi, who stole sec­ond. Pinch-hit­ter Tsub­asa Aizawa had a one-out RBI sin­gle, and Yanagita home­red to cen­ter two pitches later be­fore 44,943 at Tokyo Dome.

“No mat­ter how you look at it, it’s tough to lose a game like that,” MLB man­ager Don Mat­tingly said. “You feel like you played well enough to win . ... Other than that last in­ning, I thought we played well.”

Rosario had a solo homer in the third and San­tana hit a three-run homer in the fifth for a 4-1 lead, but Shogo Akiyama hit a three-dou­ble dou­ble off Matt An­driese in the bot­tom half. Soto hit an op­po­site field two-run homer to left in the sixth.

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