Hawks Draw First Blood in Japan Series

Last year the Softbank Hawks swept the Yomiuri Giants in the 2019 Japan Series. They made it five in a row with their opening round 5-1 win over the Giants. Hawks ace Kodai Senga outdueled the Giants ace Tomoyuki Sugano to steal the victory. Senga went seven innings without allowing a run while Sugano lasted six innings and gave up four runs.

Ryoya Kurihara had the biggest hits for the Hawks with a two run homerun in the second inning to jump start the Hawks into a 2-0 lead. The 24 year old outfielder also added a two run double in the sixth to finish the day 3 for 3 with four RBIs. Akira Nakamura drove in the final run for the Hawks in the eighth with an RBI single, scoring Ukyo Shuto, who had singled and then stole second.

The Hawks have now extended their post season win streak to 13 games and their Japan Series win streak to nine straight games.

The Giants did try to mount a rally in the ninth off Hawks closer Yuito Mori. A walk, single and hit batsman loaded the bases with one out. The only tally they could manage was a sacrifice fly from Zealous Wheeler.

There were 16,489 at the Osaka Kyocera Dome. The Yomiuri Giants home park the Tokyo Dome was not available for games. Because of the corona virus attendance at the park is limited to half the venues capacity. The Kyocera Dome is home of the Orix Buffaloes and has a capacity of over 36,000 for baseball, so not quite a sellout.

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