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Braves’ Ronald Acuna hits home run against Japan in All-Star ser

The Braves’ Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a home run but the MLB All-Stars lost to Japan for the fifth time in a six-game international series Thursday in Nagoya, Japan.

Acuna, who was name the National League Rookie of the Year Monday, went deep in the eighth against Yu Sato. 

Acuna was 2-for-5 but had two strikeouts. He finished the series with a .208 average. 

Sosuke Genda hit a three-run triple that chased starter Brian Johnson in a four-run second inning for Japan, which won the game 4-1.

After Acuna’s homer, the MLB team loaded the bases on singles by Eugenio Suarez, Mitch Haniger and Kevin Pillar, but Sato escaped the one-out jam by striking out Robinson Chirinos and Chris Taylor.

Johnson gave up four runs, five hits and a walk, getting just three outs, and was the loser.

Winner Shotaro Kasahara struck out four and gave up four hits in 4 2/3 innings, and Yasuaki Yamasaki got three straight outs for his second save.

“They play the game the right way,” MLB manager Don Mattingly said of Japan. “They have a lot of hitters who can put the ball in play and give you a lot of looks, and their pitchers have always been one of their strengths.”

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