Ken Griffey Jr. scored the tie-breaking run on a wild pitch in the eighth inning as a major league all-star team defeated Japan 3-2 Saturday in the seventh game of an eight-game series.
Griffey, of the Seattle Mariners, singled to right field and advanced to third on a wild pitch by Kazuhiko Daimon and a fly ball to deep center by Chris Sabo of the Cincinnati Reds. Griffey scored on Daimon's second wild pitch.The victory was only the second for the major leaguers, who lost the first four games and played a 6-6 tie with the Japanese on Friday. The series, which ends Sunday, marks the first time a Japanese team has beaten an American squad since 1970, when the San Francisco Giants won only three of nine games on a tour of Japan.
The major leaguers took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning. Cecil Fielder of the Detroit Tigers walked, advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on a single by Glenn Davis of the Houston Astros.
Len Dykstra of the Philadelphia Phillies made it 2-0 in the fifth inning when he homered off Satoru Komiyama.
Japan tied it against starter Dave Stewart of the Oakland A's in the seventh.
Norihiro Komada doubled to left and scored on a single to center by Atsuya Furuta. Kohji Akiyama then tripled to right, scoring Furuta with the tying run.
Rob Dibble of the Cincinnati Reds struck out four over the final two innings to earn the save.