Yuki Yanagita hit a two-run walkoff home run in the bottom of the ninth inning Friday to lift Japan to a 7-6 win over the MLB All-Stars in the opening game of a six-game exhibition series.
Juan Soto, Carlos Santana and Amed Rosario had all homered to give the MLB squad a 6-4 lead but reliever Kirby Yates couldn’t close out the game.
Tsubasa Aizawa singled in a run to cut the lead to 6-5 before Yanagita’s dramatic blast to deep center before 44,943 at Tokyo Dome.
Santana hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning to give his team a 4-1 lead but Japan tied the game on a bases-clearing double by Shogo Akiyama in the bottom of the frame.
Soto restored the lead for the MLB players in the sixth with an opposite-field two-run shot to left.
Rosario hit a solo homer in the third inning.
The series continues this weekend with two more games in Tokyo followed by one game in Hiroshima on Tuesday and two games in Nagoya on Wednesday and Thursday.
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