TOKYO -- Ryan Howard hit a three-run homer Sunday and the
MLB All-Stars defeated the stars of Japanese baseball 11-4 for a
3-0 lead in a five-game tour.
Howard, who led the majors with 58 homers for the Philadelphia
Phillies, connected off reliever Yuya Kubo in the bottom of the
seventh inning at the Tokyo Dome to give his team a six-run lead. It
was the third home run of the series for the Phillies' first
"I'm feeling real good about playing in Japan," said Howard,
who hit two homers in leading the MLB All-Stars to an 8-6 win
Saturday. "The balls are jumping off my bat here and I hope to
keep up the good work."
Jones, who hit 41 homers this season for the Atlanta Braves,
gave the major leaguers a 6-3 lead in the bottom of the sixth with
his first homer of the series.
Earlier in the sixth, Chase Utley of the Phillies broke a 3-3
tie when he singled, advanced to third on Howard's single to right
and scored after the throw from right fielder Yuuki Yoshimura
skipped past third baseman Shuichi Murata.
Mauer, who hit .347 in the regular season for the Minnesota
Twins to become the first catcher to win the American League
batting title, connected off Japanese starter Hiroyuki Kobayashi in
the bottom of the fifth as the major leaguers took a 2-1 lead.
"Kobayashi was pitching a real good game," Mauer said. "He
left the ball out over the plate and I was able to drive it."
The Japan stars had tied the game in the sixth when Michihiro
Ogasawara hit an opposite-field line drive to right that Jones
snared with a superb running catch, but Eishin Soyogi tagged up and
scored from third.
Shuichi Murata singled up the middle to score Kazuya Fukuura.
Norichika Aoki of the Yakult Swallows led off the game with a
solo homer off Bedard.
Kobayashi held the major leaguers hitless through the first four