The MLB Japan All-Star Series moved to the Nagoya Dome on Wednesday, and Japan Samurai's late-inning magic followed right along.After using ninth-inning comebacks to win the first and fourth games of the series, Japan got things started a little earlier in Game 5, tying the game with four runs in
The MLB Japan All-Star Series moved to the Nagoya Dome on Wednesday, and Japan Samurai's late-inning magic followed right along.
After using ninth-inning comebacks to win the first and fourth games of the series, Japan got things started a little earlier in Game 5, tying the game with four runs in the seventh and pushing the winning run across in the bottom of the eighth in a 6-5 thriller. The win put Team Samurai ahead, 4-1, in the series, with one game remaining.
After Brewers starter Junior Guerra limited Japan to just one run on one hit and seven strikeouts in five innings, Red Sox righty Hector Velazquez followed Guerra's lead by tossing a perfect sixth. However, a defensive miscue by the Boston hurler in the seventh was pivitol to Japan's comeback.
The turning point of the game came in the seventh, when Valazquez fielded a grounder back to the mound off the bat of Kazuki Tanaka, but the right-hander airmailed his throw to second base into center field on what should have been an easy double play.
Pinch-hitter Hotaka Yamakawa made Velazquez pay two batters later with a game-tying two-run double.
Japan's aggressive baserunning and another defensive miscue by the big leaguers led to the winning running in the eighth. Seiji Uebayashi singled off Indians reliever Dan Otero with two outs in the frame, then raced home from first on a double by Takuya Kai. Uebayashi's dash to the plate was aided by Ronald Acuna Jr.'s bobble in center field when trying to scoop the ball off the carpet.
The MLB offense had been clicking early in the game. For the second straight night, Phillies slugger Rhys Hoskins put the Major Leaguers on the board first with a home run, this time with a two-run shot in the second inning off Samurai Japan starter Nao Higashihama.
An inning later, the National League Rookie of the Year Award winner Acuna doubled to left with one out and scored a batter later when NL top rookie runner-up Juan Soto lined a single up the middle for a 3-1 MLB lead.
• Bullet trains make travel a breeze for MLB stars
Mets shortstop Amed Rosario continued his hot hitting with a three-hit night out of the leadoff spot. He drilled a two-out single to left in the fourth and scored on Yadier Molina's double to right-center to make it 4-1. Rosario scored again in the sixth, when he singled after one out, swiped second base and made it home on Phillies first baseman Carlos Santana's two-out RBI single to left.
The MLB stars had a chance to stage a comeback of their own in the ninth, but Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger was thrown out at second to end the game after trying to advance on a Japan throwing error.
Although the 4-1 Japan squad has aleady secured a series victory, the two teams will wrap up the tour Thursday.
Japan All-Star Series schedule (watch games live on MLB Network, with replays at 8 p.m. ET)
• Nov. 8: MLB All-Stars 9, Yomiuri Giants 6
• Friday: Samurai Japan 7, MLB All-Stars 6
• Saturday: Samurai Japan 12, MLB All-Stars 6
• Sunday: MLB All-Stars 7, Samurai Japan 3
• Tuesday: Samurai Japan 5, MLB All-Stars 3
• Today: Samurai Japan 6, MLB All-Stars 5
• Thursday: 6 p.m. local/4 a.m. ET
Ed Eagle is an editorial producer for MLB.com.