Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Hawks close in on Japan Series berth with victory over Lions

KYODO

Kodai Senga threw eight innings and Taisei Makihara had a hand in five runs as the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks beat the Seibu Lions 7-0 in Game 3 of the Pacific League Climax Series Final Stage on Friday.

The win in the six-game stage leaves the Hawks one win shy of reaching the Japan Series for the third straight year. They lead the stage 3-1 because the Lions started the series with a one-win advantage that goes to the league champions.

Senga allowed two singles and issued three walks while striking out 10, while Makihara helped give him an early lead against Lions starting pitcher Ken Togame.

Makihara scored a first-inning run for the second-straight night at the Lions’ MetLife Dome. He doubled in two runs in the second and crushed a two-run home run in the fourth. Reserve outfielder Shuhei Fukuda doubled in two runs in the ninth inning to complete the scoring.

The Lions won their second straight Pacific League pennant but are now in danger of being knocked out of the playoffs for the second straight season. Game 4 was originally scheduled for Saturday, but has been postponed until Sunday, due to the threat of Typhoon Hagibis. The massive typhoon is expected to pass through the Tokyo area on Saturday.

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