Reyes walk-off HR completes MLB sweep of Japan
FUKUOKA, Japan -- Jose Reyes hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning Wednesday to give the MLB All-Stars a 5-3 victory over the Japan stars and a sweep of the five-game series.
Bill Hall singled before Reyes homered to right off reliever Hisashi Ogura to complete the major leaguers' first sweep in Japan in 72 years.
"I was just glad to put my team in a position to win again," said Reyes, who had 19 homers for the New York Mets this season. "I was looking for a pitch to hit and I got all of it. We came here to win and didn't want to lose a game."
The last time major leaguers swept a tour of Japan was when the Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig All-Stars went 17-0 in 1935. Ryan Howard was the MVP of the tour, finishing the series with four homers and eight RBI.
The MLB All-Stars recorded plenty of style points in their five-game sweep of Japan. Every game featured a prominent home run.
• Warm-up game -- The Mets' David Wright tied the game in the bottom of the ninth with a two-run home run. The game ended in a 7-7 tie.
• Game 1 -- Jermaine Dye of the White Sox hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the third. The MLB All-Stars went on to a 3-2 Friday win.
• Game 2 -- The Phillies' Ryan Howard hit a two-run home run in the top of third to give the MLB a 5-2 lead and added a second blast later. The All-Stars held off Japan on Saturday, 8-6.
• Game 3 -- Howard's three-run shot in the bottom of the seventh put this eventual blowout out of reach. The All-Stars took a six-run lead and cruised to an 11-4 win on Sunday.
• Game 4 -- Howard struck again, breaking a 2-2 tie in the top of the eighth inning with his fourth home run of the series. The MLB All-Stars pulled away and beat Japan on Tuesday, 7-2.
• Game 5 -- The Mets' Jose Reyes hit a walk-off two-run home run as the MLB All-Stars completed the sweep with a 5-3 win on Wednesday.
"I got some good pitches to hit and had a lot of fun here," said the Philadelphia Phillies slugger, who led the majors with 58 homers this season. "I had a great time and I'm glad that we were able to win every game."
"Japan plays with a lot of heart," MLB manager Bruce Bochy said. "But we came over with a real good team and the fans got to see some of the best players in the world during this series."
The MLB stars took a 3-2 in the sixth on Howard's RBI double and Andruw Jones' sacrifice fly. Naoyuki Omura tied it for Japan with a two-out, bloop single in the ninth. Scot Shields picked up the win, recording the final out in the 10th.
Howard broke up a perfect game bid by Japan's Tsuyoshi Wada with a single in the fifth. He scored on Kenji Johjima's single.
Takahiro Arai and Shuichi Murata gave Japan a 2-0 lead in the fourth with solo homers off MLB starter John Lackey.
"I grew up in Fukuoka, so it's nice to get a hit in my hometown," Murata said. "Their pitchers throw hard and they can pitch to all corners, so I'm learning a lot by facing them."
Johjima and Tadahito Iguchi were playing in the Fukuoka Dome for the first time since leaving for the majors.
The MLB All-Stars showed a dramatic flair during the series with Japan. Including the warm-up game, the MLB team hit lead-changing home runs in the eighth inning or later in three games, and had at least one blast in every contest.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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