Bonds Powers U.S. Over Japan Champs
%mlink(STRY:; PHOTO:XKS104-110902; AUDIO:%)
TOKYO (AP) _ Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi hit back-to-back homers twice Saturday, leading the major league all-stars to an 8-1 exhibition win over the Japan Series champion Yomiuri Giants.
Bonds and Giambi had consecutive home runs in the first and fifth innings for the all-stars, who begin a seven-game series against Japan’s best players Sunday.
``I couldn’t let Barry show me up,″ Giambi said. ``He hit another one; I had to, too. I’m just trying to follow him and do what he does.″
In the first, Bonds preceded Giambi’s shot with a two-run homer. Both players hit towering homers to right in the fifth, giving the major leaguers a 7-0 lead.
``Hopefully this will get everybody feeling good and loose. It felt good to do it right out of the chute,″ the San Francisco Giants slugger said, referring to his first-inning homer.
Bonds had four home runs and nine RBIs in 2000, the last time the all-stars visited Japan. He was MVP of the series won by the major leaguers 5-2-1.
Rodrigo Lopez, the Baltimore Orioles starter who finished second in AL Rookie of the Year voting last week, held the Giants to one hit in five innings.
Ichiro Suzuki was not available for Saturday’s exhibition because of a commitment in his hometown of Nagoya. He is in Japan to play for the first time since leaving to sign with the Seattle Mariners two years ago.