The MLB All-Stars already lost the series, but they wanted to put something straight today. They did, and especially Justin Morneau did.
In the first inning, Morneau hit a double of Samurai Japan’s starter Shintaro Fujinami (NPB sophomore for the Hanshin Tigers) and drove in Yasiel Puig who got on base on a double too.
In the top of the second, the Samurai Japan answered with two doubles by Nobuhiro Matsuda and Yoshimoto Tsutsugo (Yokohama Bay Stars) to tie the game at one.
One inning later, with Jose Altuve on third and Yasiel Puig on second, Justin Morneau connected for a three run shot to right field.
A solo homerun by Evan Longoria, who just has become father for the second time, and a run scored by Carlos Santana on a ground out by Eduardo Nunez (4-3) added two more runs to the total of the MLB All-Stars.
Chris Capuano pitched five solid innings and earned the win, after allowing one run on four hits and after striking out four.
Shintaro Fujinami was tabbed with the loss. He also lasted five innings and allowed four of the six runs that the MLB players scored. In five innings he struck out five.
Marc Melancon sealed the win for the MLB All-Stars by retiring the three batters that he faced; two with a strikeout.
Justin Morneau got out of a slump this series. So far he had connected to only hit in this trip to Japan (in the 8-4 loss in game two). Jose Altuve had a great game with his bat and his glove. Yasiel Puig showed two faces once again. At bat he was electric and he made a very nice diving catch in right field but he also didn’t move when a ball seemed to clear the fences. Only as the ball came about a foot short of clearing the outfield wall, Puig started to move. Sure he would have never caught this ball, but he could at least have made the effort of going back and to avoid embarrassing his pitcher.
Both teams will head to Sapporo for game five of this series.