Makoto Sasaki of the Diaei Hawks went five for six as the Japanese all-stars rapped 20 hits and defeated the touring U.S. major-leaguers, 11-6, in Fukuoka. That's a 4-0 lead in the eight-game series for the Japanese, who never have won a series against major league competition.
The major-leaguers committed four errors and allowed five stolen bases. The series has become an embarrassment for the team considered one of the strongest assembled for a postseason tour. Toronto's Dave Stieb and Kansas City's Jeff Montgomery were hit hard. . . .
The Minnesota Twins are even more worried about balancing their budget than about losing Gary Gaetti to new-look free agency. Under the tentative handshake agreement between the players association and lawyers for the 26 major league clubs, each team will have to pay approximately $10.77 million as of Jan. 2.
In addition, the Twins face either signing Gaetti or losing him without compensation; reliever Juan Berenguer likewise.
For the Twins, in one of baseball's smallest marketplaces, the consequences could be devastating. Owner Carl Pohlad had anticipated only $4 million in collusion damages.
"My orders from Carl are to budget so we break even," team president Jerry Bell said. "No way we can make up an extra $6.7 million in collusion costs in one year. If it has to be paid in a lump sum, I'll have to finance it." . . .
A group of prospective Montreal Expos owners has reached a tentative deal with the province of Quebec for government support, according to Tourism Minister Andre Vallerand. The group hopes to buy the team from the Bronfman family. . . .
The Toronto Blue Jays reacquired two pitchers given up in recent transactions, getting Alex Sanchez back from Cleveland for pitcher Willie Blair and Nate Cromwell back from Atlanta for pitcher Earl Sanders.