Japan All-Star Series: game five


Matt Shoemaker recovered from his loss in game one of this series in Japan. In the first game he took the loss after five innings of work and two runs allowed.

This time Shoemaker lasted five innings again but he allowed only two hits and struck out two.

Jose Altuve was smoking again. In five at bats he collected three hits, of which two doubles, raising his batting average in this series to .429.

Shoemaker’s counterpart, Shonei Ohtani (Nippon-Ham Fighters) pitched four innings in which he allowed two runs on six hits. Ohtani struck out seven and walked two. He struck out the side in the first inning.

In the top of the third inning Lucas Duda hit one of his scarce basehits; a double to centerfield. Alcides Escobar hit a single on which Duda advanced to third base. When catcher Motohiro Shima let a ball pass, Duda scored and Escobar advanced to third base. Eventually the latter scored on a 6-4 groundouthit  by Jose Altuve.

With two outs in the sixth inning, Jose Altuve hit a double and advanced to third on a single by Yasiel Puig. Altuve scored the third run for the MLB squad on a single by Eduardo Nunez.

Samurai Japan got on the board in the seventh Ryosuke Kikuchi hit a lead off triple off Randy Choate, who had entered the game in the sixth inning in relief. Even though Choate managed to get the next batter out, he was replaced by Tommy Hunter. But Hunter couldn’t keep the Japanese from scoring one run when Sho Nakata hit a 5-3 ground out.

Hunter and his successor Jose Veras pitched perfect. Marc Melancon earned his first save of this series, but not without giving up a hit to Yoshitomo Tsutsugo.

Jose Altuve didn’t prove his value not only with his bat, but also with his glove. In the ninth he backhanded a bouncing ball hit by Yoshihiro Maru smoothly and threw it to first for the final out.

Thanks to this win the MLB stars saved their honour a bit, losing this series 3-2.

Coming Thursday the team will play another exhibition game at Okinawa against Samurai Japan, which is offically not a part of this All-Star Series.

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