MLB All-Star pitcher Kenta Maeda, third from left, of the Los Angeles Dodgers welcomes teammates after the Major League team beat All Japan 7-3 in Game 3 at their All-Stars Series baseball at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Toru Takahashi)

Molina, Realmuto homer to lead MLB All-Stars to win in Japan

November 11, 2018 - 9:15 am
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TOKYO (AP) — Yadier Molina and J.T. Realmuto both homered on Sunday to lead the MLB All-Stars to a 7-3 win over Japan for their first win of the six-game exhibition series.

Realmuto hit a solo homer to right in the fourth at Tokyo Dome and Mitch Haniger scored on a throwing error by Japan starter Shinsaburo Tawata in the fifth to give the MLB All-Stars a 2-1 lead.

Molina followed with an opposite-field three-run blast to right that knocked Tawata out of the game and gave his team a 5-1 advantage. The veteran catcher also threw out a runner at first in the fourth inning.

"I felt like Yadi's pick at first was huge," MLB manager Don Mattingly said. "We got in a little bit of a jam, (the pitcher's) pitch count is starting to climb, then Yadi's pick, I think it's the bottom of the fourth. Then we were able to put four runs on the board."

The visitors added two more runs in seventh.

Eugenio Suarez doubled over the head of left fielder Seiji Uebayashi, scoring Juan Soto from second. Suarez then scored on a single by Haniger.

Japan won the first two games. The next game is in Hiroshima on Tuesday followed by two games in Nagoya on Wednesday and Thursday.

Japan added two runs in the ninth on doubles by Hotaka Yamakawa and Ryosuke Kikuchi but MLB reliever John Brebbia recorded the final three outs.

Soto hit a towering fly ball in the fourth that was headed for the right field seats but hit the roof and was caught by right fielder Shogo Akiyama.

Soto also hit the roof in Thursday's warmup game against the Yomiuri Giants.

The MLB All-Stars got solid pitching from starter Scott Barlow of the Kansas City Royals who picked up the win after striking out four and giving up one run on five hits over 4-1/3 innings.

"Having Yadi back there makes my life a lot easier," Barlow said. "I trust him very much and I trusted my defense as well. Not being afraid of contact and letting them run down balls and make their plays."

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