NISHINOMIYA, Hyogo (Kyodo) – Jefry Marte scored his second home run with three runs in two days, and Haruto Takahashi threw his second shutout as the runner-up Hanshin Tigers beat the Chunichi 3-0 in the Central League Dragons scored Saturday.
Looking for their first CL pennant in 16 years, the Tigers follow the Yakult Swallows for one game.
Takahashi (3-1) has not allowed a run since giving six to the Swallows on his late season debut on Sept. 9, doing the job.
Marte gave Dragons starting pitcher Yariel Rodriguez (0-4) the devastating blow in the first inning and shot his 21st home run after no-out singles by Koji Chikamoto and Takumu Nakano.
“I’m very happy with that,” said Marte. “You always want to get a few runs on your mug early on.”
Takahashi, who had only lost to Yakult this season, will face the CL leaders in a week.
“I can’t explain these results other than to say that the guys behind me played good games and I was a little lucky,” said Takahashi. “Personally, I want to take revenge (against Yakult) after they beat me. I think that’s normal.”
At Mazda Stadium, Tetsuto Yamada scored a two-run home run and Domingo Santana a three-run blast, and the Swallows held on to beat Hiroshima Carp 9-5.
In the Tokyo Dome, Seiya Matsubara scored three runs and Hayato Sakamoto drove three when the third-placed Yomiuri Giants stayed four games behind Hanshin with a 5-4 win over the DeNA BayStars.
At Kyocera Dome Osaka, Yoshinobu Yamamoto (16-5) won his 13th straight decision with a two-hitter when Orix Buffaloes, the leading Orix Buffaloes in the Pacific League, beat fourth-placed SoftBank Hawks 6-0.
At Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi, Takayuki Kishi (8-9) allowed a six innings run as the third-placed Rakuten Eagles beat second-placed Lotte Marines 6-1, dropping Lotte 1-1 / 2 games behind Orix.
In the Sapporo Dome, Yuto Takahama doubled the starting shot in the seventh inning when the Nippon Ham Fighters defeated the Seibu Lions 2-1 in a duel between the two bottom teams in the PL.