MORIOKA – Tohoku Rakuten ace Masahiro Tanaka pitched two scoreless innings of three-hit ball Monday and the Pacific League denied the Central League a three-game sweep with a 6-2 victory in Game 3 of the All-Star Series.
The final game of the series was held at Iwate Stadium in Morioka to support relief efforts toward the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that devastated eastern Japan. Some 2,400 fans from the crowd of 14,806 were invited to the game from disaster-hit areas.
Hokkaido Nippon Ham outfielder Yang Dai-kang hit a three-run homer to key a four-run third inning, and added an RBI single in the fourth that also featured a run-scoring single from the Fighters’ Sho Nakata.
Yang was named MVP. Orix Buffaloes first baseman Lee Dae Ho went 2-for-3 with an RBI single in the third.
Takahiro Shiomi of the Golden Eagles allowed one run in three innings of relief for the PL. Yokohama BayStars veteran Daisuke Miura, who started for the CL, was roughed up for four runs in 2⅔ innings.
Kazuhiro Hatakeyama, who was born in Iwate Prefecture, had a solo shot batting in the cleanup spot for the CL in the top of the fourth. The Chunichi Dragons’ Yohei Oshima hit an RBI single in the ninth.
The Pacific League leads the All-Star series 78-73 with nine ties against the Central League.
Last year, Game 3 of the All-Star Series was held in Sendai as part of disaster-relief efforts and will be played in Fukushima Prefecture next year. The regular seasons in both the PL and CL resume on Wednesday.