He may be the elder statesman on the MLB roster, but Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is playing like a spry rookie in the Japan All-Star Series.Powered by Molina's three-run, opposite-field homer in the fifth inning, the MLB All-Stars captured their first win of the series on Sunday, taking down Samurai
He may be the elder statesman on the MLB roster, but Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is playing like a spry rookie in the Japan All-Star Series.
Powered by Molina's three-run, opposite-field homer in the fifth inning, the MLB All-Stars captured their first win of the series on Sunday, taking down Samurai Japan, 7-3, at the Tokyo Dome. The 36-year-old backstop also caught left fielder Seiji Uebayashi at first, picking him off for the final out of the fourth inning and ending the threat after Japan had tied the game on Shuta Tonosaki's RBI double.
Molina, who is 7-for-11 (.636) in the series, wasn't the only catcher who went deep. While he was the designated hitter for Sunday's game, the Marlins' J.T. Realmuto homered to give the MLB All-Stars a 1-0 lead in the fourth, hitting it to the opposite field just like he did in Saturday's 12-6 loss to Japan.
Bidding for his third straight homer of the series, Nationals outfielder Juan Soto's potential three-run blast hit the roof and fell into right fielder Shogo Akiyama's glove at the warning track for a long out. According to the rules of the Tokyo Dome, if a ball hits the roof in fair territory, the ball is still in play.
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Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez and Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger, who scored the go-ahead run in the fifth on a throwing error by Japan starter Shinsaburo Tawata, delivered back-to-back run-scoring hits in the seventh to complete the scoring output for the MLB All-Stars.
Royals right-hander Scott Barlow (4 1/3 innings) picked up the win, and Rays left-hander Vidal Nuno (2 2/3), Rangers righty Chris Martin (one) and Cardinals right-hander John Brebbia (one) followed to secure the victory, limiting Japan to three RBI doubles.
After an off-day on Monday, the series will resume in Hiroshima at Mazda Zoom-Zoom Stadium on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. local/4:30 a.m. ET on MLB Network. Former Hiroshima Toyo Carp and now-Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda will make the start for the MLB All-Stars.
Japan All-Star Series schedule (watch games live on MLB Network, with replays at 8 p.m. ET)
• Thursday: 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: 6:30 p.m. local/4:30 a.m. ET
• Nov. 14: 7 p.m. local/5 a.m. ET
• Nov. 15: 6 p.m. local/4 a.m. ET