One win away from his team's first Japan Series pennant in 10 years, Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters manager Hideki Kuriyama has opted not to start ace Shohei Otani in Saturday's Game 6 at Mazda Stadium.

Instead, the game will see Game 2's starters duke it out again with Central League wins leader Yusuke Nomura going for the Hiroshima Carp against Hirotoshi Masui, the former closer who went 6-1 with a 1.10 ERA in eight starts during the regular season.

"The only thing that matters is winning," Nomura said. "I intend to go to the mound and take them in the best way. I need to take care of their leadoff hitters. If we can't take it to Game 7, we can't be No. 1 in Japan."