HIROSHIMA, Japan | Japan rallies to beat MLB All-Stars 5-3 to lead series 3-1

HIROSHIMA, Japan  — Ryosuke Kikuchi drove in the go-ahead run as Japan rallied with four runs in the top of the ninth inning to beat the MLB All-Stars 5-3 and take a 3-1 lead in their six-game exhibition series on Tuesday.

The ninth-inning comeback started when Kirby Yates walked leadoff batter Kazuki Tanaka, who stole second and scored on Seiji Uebayashi’s single to center to cut the MLB lead to 3-2.

Japan tied the game on Kosuke Tanaka’s single to center that scored Uebayashi from second.

John Brebbia replaced Yates and Japan took the lead on Kikuchi’s sacrifice bunt that scored Kosuke Tanaka from third.

The hosts added an insurance run on Yuki Yanagita’s high chopper over the head of Brebbia that allowed Shogo Akiyama to score from third.

Yasuaki Yamasaki recorded the final three outs for the save.

Yates, who gave up four runs, two unearned, took the loss.

By JIM ARMSTRONG, Associated Press