TAICHUNG, TAIWAN – Jung Hyung Sik had a go-ahead two-run single to spark a five-run fifth inning as the Samsung Lions of South Korea came from behind to beat the Japan Series champion Fukuoka Softbank Hawks 5-3 in the final of the Asia Series on Tuesday.
Samsung became the first team outside of Japan to win the Asia Series.
Jung turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead with his bases-loaded hit to center off Sho Iwasaki with one out in the fifth, Park Sok Min added a run-scoring double and two more runs scored against Taiwanese reliever Yang Yao-xun on shortstop Munenori Kawasaki’s error.
Koji Akiyama’s Hawks were aiming to become the fifth Japanese team in a row to win the Asia Series. Iwasaki was pitching on one day’s rest after starting against Australia’s Perth Heat on Sunday.
Nobuhiro Matsuda gave Softbank a 1-0 lead with a double down the left-field line in the first inning but Samsung sprang to life against Iwasaki in the fifth at Taichung International Stadium.
The Hawks put runners at first and second with one out with two hits in the seventh but Samsung escaped the jam to end the threat.
Softbank had another chance in the eighth when it loaded the bases with none out. Matsuda hit into a double play that scored one run and Yuya Hasegawa drove in the team’s third run with a single to center.
Kenji Akashi just beat out an infield to first, reaching the bag before pitcher Oh Seung Hwan on the play to place runners at first and second but Shuhei Fukuda flied out to left to end the inning.
Maddux joins Rangers
Greg Maddux is leaving the Chicago Cubs to join the Texas Rangers, reuniting him with his brother Mike.
The Rangers said Tuesday that Greg Maddux will become a special assistant to the general manager, the same role he held with the Cubs the last two seasons.
When asked what drew him to the Rangers, Greg Maddux responded: “Probably the majority of it was my brother.” He also said it was very attractive to work with Hall of Fame pitcher and Rangers president Nolan Ryan.
Mike Maddux has been the Rangers’ pitching coach for the last three seasons. He interviewed to become manager of the Cubs before Dale Sveum was hired this month.
Greg Maddux, a four-time Cy Young Award winner, will be an instructor at major and minor league spring training and will visit farm teams during the season.
“I like being around the game at the highest level possible,” he said. “I will be another set of eyes. I will try to use the experiences I’ve had in the game and just pass those down to the players and coaches, just try to help out any way possible.”