Team Europe's designated hitter Yurendell De Caster (77) of the Netherlands rounds bases after hitting a three-run home run off Japan's starter Takahiro Matsuba, left, in the third inning of their friendly baseball game at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Wednesday,
Toru Takahashi
March 11, 2015

TOKYO (AP) Yurendell DeCaster hit a three-run homer in the third inning Wednesday to lead Team Europe to a 6-2 win over Japan in the finale of a two-game exhibition series.

The visitors scored two runs in the second inning and DeCaster, a native of Curacao, connected off Japan starter Takahiro Matsuba to give Europe a 5-0 lead.

''It's very tough to come back from 5-0,'' Japan manager Hiroki Kokubo said. ''Give them credit. They've come a long way and play the game at a high level.''

The series was part of the World Baseball Softball Confederation's efforts to have baseball make a return at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Baseball and softball were dropped after the 2008 Beijing Games but could make a return in 2020 under reforms made by the International Olympic Committee.

The European team, which lost 4-3 in the first game, was made up of players from six countries, mostly the Netherlands and Italy.

Europe starter Diegomar Markwell was credited with the win after holding Japan to three hits over three scoreless innings.

There was a moment of silence before the game at Tokyo Dome to honor the victims of the March, 11, 2011, tsunami that claimed the lives of 15,891 people.

You May Like