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Professor Oak agrees and puts Bulbasaur into its {{i|Poké Ball}} before transporting it. The transport appears to be successful and Ash picks up the Poké Ball, but it won’t open. Other children also point out the same problem, as their Poké Balls are empty. Max immediately suspects that the repair guys were fakes. Nurse Joy does not believe so until the real repair guys arrive. Team Rocket is outside the building snatching the Poké Balls as Nurse Joy leads Ash and friends to the back, encountering Team Rocket. They quickly escape in their balloon. Ash and May send out {{AP|Taillow}} and {{TP|May|Beautifly}} to stop them, but [[James]] fires rocket boosters to evade, even dodging {{AP|Pikachu}}'s {{m|Thunderbolt}}. However, the engines fail, sending the balloon flying far away. A Poké Ball falls from the sky and May's Bulbasaur grabs it. The ball opens and releases the Pokémon inside, and it's Ash's Bulbasaur. Bulbasaur jumps into Ash's arms and May's Bulbasaur reaches out with a vine. Ash's Bulbasaur matches the vine in a high-five style as May brings her Bulbasaur closer. They decide to allow the Bulbasaur to team up to search while Taillow and Beautifly cover from the air.
Team Rocket begins to gather all the stolen Poké Balls into wrapped sacks. James's bag develops a hole and it drops Poké Balls, leaving a trail. Meanwhile, while Ash and the others are searching, May's Bulbasaur drifts to sniffing flowers. Ash's Bulbasaur explains to May's Bulbasaur and gets it back on track. Taillow and Beautifly find the Poké Ball trail. A {{pkmn2|wild}} {{p|Shroomish}} and {{p|Nuzleaf}} lead Ash and friends to the balloon's landing site, where they find one of the Poké Balls. Taillow brings another Poké Ball and leads them to the ball trail. Team Rocket gets to their cabin and {{MTR}} notices that James's bag had a hole and he dropped the Poké Balls. They find Ash and friends outside, but they retreat back inside and James activates a switch, raising steel walls around the perimeter and rendering it impregnable. However, Ash notices an open window, allowing May and the others to go onto the roof and retrieve the stolen property. Meowth throws Poké Balls and James uses the skis as a makeshift baseball bat to send them outside, using the Pokémon inside, a {{p|Golbat}} and a {{p|Primeape}}, to attack Ash. May orders the two Bulbasaur to send their vines inside and attempt to grab the sack of Poké Balls. James tries to tie the vines together, but the Bulbasaur smack James back with the vines. Brock recalls the attacking Primeape and Golbat while Pikachu attacks the wall with {{m|Iron Tail}}, forcing Team Rocket out.
[[Jessie]] and James send out {{TP|Jessie|Seviper}} and {{TP|James|Cacnea}}. Seviper's {{m|Poison Tail}} and Cacnea's {{m|Pin Missile}} put down May's Bulbasaur. Although May calls for a {{m|Razor Leaf}} attack, Cacnea's Pin Missile is too strong for May's Bulbasaur. Ash's Bulbasaur steps in and stops the attack with {{m|Vine Whip}}. Seviper and Cacnea attempt to attack with Poison Tail and {{m|Needle Arm}}, but both Bulbasaur use Vine Whip to push them back and seize the stolen Poké Balls. They try to attack again, but Pikachu stops them with Thunderbolt and sends them flying. The Bulbasaur give a Vine Whip high five. Ash and the others return the Poké Balls. Professor Oak calls back and asks for Ash's Bulbasaur to return and stop the {{t|water}} and {{t|grass}} Pokémon from fighting. Ash sends his Bulbasaur back to [[Professor Oak's Laboratory]] as May's Bulbasaur appears to have made a positive change. Ash and friends leave the Pokémon Center and hit the road.