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MLB All-Stars tie Japan team on Wright's homer in 9th

TOKYO -- A little too late, David Wright got the big hit the
New York Mets were missing.

Wright hit a two-out, two-run homer in the top of the ninth
inning Thursday for a 7-7 tie with the Yomiuri Giants in a warmup
game for the MLB All-Star tour of Japan.

Andruw Jones opened the ninth with his second home run of the
game. Joe Mauer singled with two outs and Wright, who hit 26 homers
for the Mets this season, followed with a drive to left field off
Yomiuri pitcher Takahiko Nomaguchi.

"It felt great," Wright said. "Given the opportunity to come
here and represent Major League Baseball and do this in my first
international competition was great."

Wright hit .160 in the Mets' seven-game loss to St. Louis in the
NL Championship Series. The Mets lost 3-1 in Game 7, with Wright
blooping a single for their only run.

The five-game MLB All-Star series against the Japanese stars
starts on Friday. After the first three games at Tokyo Dome, the
series shifts to Osaka and Fukuoka.

Under tournament rules, the warmup game was limited to nine
innings.

Ryan Howard and Jones hit consecutive home runs in the sixth
inning to pull the MLB within 6-4.

Howard, who led the majors with 58 homers for the
Philadelphia Phillies, connected off Yomiuri starter Chiang Chien-ming to cut
the Giants lead to 6-3.

Jones then pulled the MLB team within two runs with a homer that
landed in almost the same place as Howard's shot to center field.

Newly hired San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he was
pleased with the way his team rallied after being down.

"This was a great way to start the series," Bochy said. "For
our guys to come back like that was huge, our dugout was going
nuts. We didn't get the win but we'll take a tie after being down
three runs in the ninth."