YOKOHAMA – Yuki Nishi worked five innings, and four relievers completed a nine-hit shutout in the Hanshin Tigers’ 7-0 victory over the Yokohama BayStars on Saturday.
The Tigers have two games remaining and trail the third-place Hiroshima Carp by half a game in the battle for the Central League’s final playoff spot. The Tigers can reach the postseason by winning their remaining two games on Sunday and Monday against the Chunichi Dragons at home.
Nishi (10-8) allowed four hits and a walk while striking out three.
BayStars starter Shota Imanaga (13-7) allowed seven runs — six earned — over 7-1/3 innings. The Tigers loaded the bases in the fourth on two walks and an infield single before Masahiro Nakatani singled in the first two runs of a four-run inning.
Suguru Iwazaki, Rafael Dolis, Hiroya Shimamoto and Koki Morita finished off the shutout with one inning apiece.
Swallows 2, Giants 1 (10)
At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Tokyo Yakult fans celebrated retiring Yomiuri star Shinnosuke Abe’s last appearance at the Swallows’ ballpark, giving him a hero’s sendoff.
Hawks 3, Buffaloes 3 (12)
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Fukuoka SoftBank’s Rick van den Hurk allowed three runs over six innings of work in a warmup for the postseason that ended in a tie with Orix.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5