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MLB stars rally to tie Yomiuri Giants

TOKYO (AP) _ David Wright and Andruw Jones homered in the top of the ninth inning Thursday, erasing a three-run deficit to tie the Yomiuri Giants 7-7 in a warmup game ahead of an MLB All-Star tour of Japan.

Atlanta Braves outfielder Jones led off the ninth with his second homer of the game to trail 7-5.

Joe Mauer singled before Wright, who hit 26 homers for the New York Mets this season, tied it with a shot to left off Yomiuri pitcher Takahiko Nomaguchi.

``It felt great,'' Wright said. ``Given the opportunity to come here and represent Major League Baseball and do this in my first international competition was great.''

Under tournament rules, the game was limited to nine innings.

The five-game MLB All-Star series against the stars of Japanese baseball starts on Friday. After the first three games at Tokyo Dome, the series shifts to Osaka and Fukuoka.

Ryan Howard and Jones hit back-to-back solo homers in the top of the sixth inning to pull the MLB stars within two runs after the Giants had taken a 6-2 lead.

Howard, who hit 58 homers for the Philadelphia Phillies during the regular season, connected off Yomiuri starter Chiang Chien-ming to cut the Giants lead to 6-3.

Jones then pulled the MLB All-Stars within two runs with a homer that landed in almost the same place as Howard's shot to center field.

San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he was pleased with the way his team fought back after being down.

``This was a great way to start the series,'' said Bochy. ``For our guys to come back like that was huge, our dugout was going nuts. We didn't get the win but we'll take a tie after being down three runs in the ninth.''
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