Softbank pitcher Hiroki Yamada threw six scoreless innings and battery mate Toru Hosokawa drove in a run as the visiting Hawks dumped the Chunichi Dragons 5-0 in Game 5 at Nagoya Dome on Nov. 17.
The Hawks are now one win away from their first Japan Series title since 2003.
The Pacific League champion won its third straight on enemy turf after suffering two straight losses at home in Fukuoka.
The best-of-seven series, led by Softbank 3-2 over the Central League champs, shifts to Yahoo Dome in Fukuoka for Game 6 on Nov. 19 and, if necessary, Game 7 on Nov. 20.
Left-hander Yamada, who sported a 7-7 record in the regular season, limited the Nagoya club to just three hits in his six-inning outing. He gave up no walks in his first Japan Series victory.
In the seventh, Hawks skipper Koji Akiyama sent Tadashi Settsu, who tossed seven innings two days ago, to the mound. He also held the Dragons scoreless.
Relievers Masahiko Morifuku and Takahiro Mahara completed the shutout for Softbank.
For the third straight game, the Hawks struck in the first inning. Clean-up hitter Hiroki Kokubo stroked an RBI single to left off Dragons starter Chen Wei-yin to open the scoring.
But the Taiwanese southpaw regained his form and pitched shutout ball for the next five innings. But he gave up a run in the seventh, when Hosokawa smashed a single to center with two men on.
Down 2-0 in the eighth, Chen surrendered two hits and a walk and was yanked with the bases loaded and no outs. Reliever Junichi Kawahara hit Nobuhiro Matsuda with a pitch, forcing in a run. Hitoshi Tamura followed with a blooper to left to make the score 5-0.
- « Prev
- Next »