OSAKA – New Orix Buffaloes player Joey Meneses stole the show at his home park by leading Mexico to a 4-2 win over Japan in the first game of their two-game series on Saturday.
The 26-year-old Meneses, who batted .311 with 23 home runs and 82 RBIs last season with the Philadelphia Phillies’ Triple-A team, went 4-for-4 with three doubles for Mexico at Kyocera Dome.
Meneses doubled in the eighth and scored an insurance run on a double by Luis Cruz, who played four years in Japan.
Cruz’s former Chiba Lotte Marines teammate Takahiro Matsunaga allowed two runs in the seventh, surrendering Japan’s one-run lead.
Orix slugger Masataka Yoshida drove in Japan’s first run off former Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters right-hander Luis Mendoza in the first. Yoshida walked and scored Japan’s second run on Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks catcher Takuya Kai’s fourth-inning single.
Japan had a chance to tie it in the ninth, but with two runners on, Yota Kyoda ran into a game-ending double play. The Chunichi Dragons infielder was gunned down trying to advance to second on a fly out.