NAGOYA, Japan | Japan beats MLB All-Stars 4-1 in final of exhibition series

NAGOYA, Japan | Japan beats MLB All-Stars 4-1 in final of exhibition series

NAGOYA, Japan — Sosuke Genda drove in three runs with a bases-clearing triple as Japan beat the MLB All-Stars 4-1 in the final of their six-game exhibition series on Thursday.

Genda tripled down the right field line off MLB starter Brian Johnson, and Ryosuke Kikuchi made it 4-0 on a sacrifice fly as Japan did all of its scoring in the second inning at Nagoya Dome.

Japan was using the series to gauge the progress its young players as it prepares for the baseball tournament at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“We used a lot of young players in this series and it was a valuable experience for them,” Japan manager Atsunori Inaba said. “I hope they use this experience to continue making progress.”

Japan starter Shotaro Kasahara struck out four and gave up four hits over 4 2/3 scoreless innings for the win as Japan improved to 5-1 in the series. Yasuaki Yamasaki retired the side in order in the ninth for the save.

Johnson took the loss after giving up all four runs.

National League rookie of the year Ronald Acuna Jr. got the MLB on the scoreboard with a solo homer to right in the eighth off Yu Sato.
The MLB threatened after Acuna’s homer but Sato pitched out of a bases-loaded jam.

“They play the game the right way,” MLB manager Don Mattingly said of Japan. “They have a lot of hitters who can put the ball in play and give you a lot of looks, and their pitchers have always been one of their strengths.”

By JIM ARMSTRONG, Associated Press