A solid outing over 5.2 innings by former Dodgers and Yankees pitcher Hiroki Kuroda was not enough to clinch the win for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. Over 5.2 innings Tanaka allowed one earned run. Eventually the Carp fell 4-3 to the Nippon Ham Fighters in ten innings, who got back in the series thanks to this win.
After two 5-1 home victories over the Nippon Ham FIghters, the Hiroshima Toyo Carp had, what seemed a comfortable lead over the team from Hokkaido.
In the Fighters’ first home game of the Nippon Series, they took an early 1-0 lead. A ground out to short, hit by Sho Nagata, drove in Kensuke Kondoh for the opening run.
But the team from Hiroshima would bounce back in the next inning. With a runner on first, Brad Eldred hit a two run homerun to right field to give the Carp a 2- 1 lead. Eldred became the first player to hit homeruns in each of the first three Nippon Series games.
Hiroki Kuroda’s night ended early as he appeared to be in pain after he retired Shohei Otani on a fly out to left with one out in the sixth inning. He left the field for treatment and returned after about two minutes. He threw a few warm-up pitches before he was pulled.
The Fighters did justice to their name as they fought back in the eighth inning. Jay Jackson took over on the mound. Sho Nakata drove in two runs on a double to right field to give the Fighters a one run lead again.
But also this time, the Carp would get back as they tied the game in the top of the ninth inning. Seiya Suzuki led off the inning with a triple to center field. Eventually he scored on Tomohiro Abe’s single.
Since the Fighters did not score in the ninth inning, extra innings were needed.
Timely hitting won the game for the Nippon Ham Fighters. With Haruki Nishikawa on second (walk and stolen base), Shotei Otani became the hero as he singled home Nishikawa on a hit to right field.
Anthony Bass earned the win for the Fighters. In the tenth inning he gave up one hit but kept the Carp from scoring as he struck out one.
Losing pitcher was Daichi Osera who gave up one run on a hit and a walk.
Best hitter for the Fighters was Shohei Otani, who went 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI. It is quite remarkable that Otani is such a good hitter as his main position is pitcher. Today he served as DH.
The next two games will be in Sapporo before the circus will move back to Hiroshima again.