Clutch hitting by Seichi Uchikawa coupled with brilliant outings by four different hurlers lifted Japan’s Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks past Australia’s Perth Heat in a 4-0 shutout in this year’s Asia Series at the Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium yesterday afternoon.
The veteran slugger who led the Pacific League in hitting during the regular season was at his best when it counted most as he went a solid 2-for-4 with runners in scoring position and two outs, to drive in three of his team’s four runs in the game.
The two wins by the Hawks earned them a spot in tomorrow night’s title game, when the winners will go home with a hefty NT$15 million (US$495,000) check in prize money.
Starter Sho Iwasaki allowed lead-off singles to the Australians in the first and second innings, but managed to get out of trouble on both occasions before turning the game to his bullpen mates, who combined for seven innings of one-hit ball to keep the shutout intact.
The decision to go with a group effort on the mound proved wise for Hawks skipper Koji Akiyama, who should have all his pitchers available for tomorrow’s title game because the most that a single pitcher had pitched was reliever and game-winner Shingo Tatsumi’s four innings.
Miscues on the defensive side hurt the Heat as three of the four runs allowed by starter Trevor Caughey were unearned because of a pair of errors by his defense. They committed three errors to make it virtually impossible to win against any team, let alone the top club in Japan.
SAMSUNG LIONS 6,
UNI-PRESIDENT LIONS 3
Choi Hyung-woo’s two-run blast off reliever Ryan Glenn broke a 3-all tie in the eighth as South Korea’s Samsung Lions defeated Taiwan’s Uni-President Lions 6-3 in Taoyuan last night for a chance to take on the Hawks in tomorrow night’s title game.
Samsung took a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the third against Uni-President starter Seth Etherton and made it 3-0 an inning later before the hosts finally got on the board in the bottom of the four on the strength of Yang Song-hsuan’s RBI single off Samsung starter Bae Young-soo.
Trailing by two, Uni-President managed to tie the game at 3-all, with Kuo Chun-yo’s pinch-hit homer off Samsung reliever Kwon Oh-joon in the bottom of the sixth, setting the stage for Choi’s game-winning swing.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) hailed Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying after her win at the All England Open Badminton Championships with a video montage on Facebook as the shuttler began 14 days of self-quarantine on her return to Taiwan. The BWF Facebook group released the video on Friday, saying: “She is terrific, she is tenacious, she is the queen. All hail Queen Tai,” lauding her third All England title after her 21-19, 21-15 victory over top seed and then-world No. 1 Chen Yufei of China in in Birmingham on Sunday. Tai on Wednesday posted a photograph of herself onboard an EVA Airways flight
Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is buying the Forum for US$400 million, ending the billionaire’s legal fight with Madison Square Garden Co (MSG) and clearing the way to build a new arena for his NBA team down the street in Inglewood, California. Ballmer on Tuesday announced his cash purchase of the venerated arena. Ballmer, a former Microsoft executive, and Clippers vice chairman Dennis Wong are making the transaction through CAPSS LLC, a newly formed entity that would continue to operate the Forum as a live music venue. “This is an unprecedented time, but we believe in our collective future,” Ballmer said.
Two great US pastimes, baseball and fantasy sports, were at the center of a court battle on Friday even as ballparks across the country stood silent and empty amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Arguing over a suit that was filed as players were about to report for spring training, lawyers for Major League Baseball (MLB) and two teams urged a federal judge to toss out a claim by fantasy sports participants that they were defrauded by MLB’s sign-stealing scandal. An attorney for the DraftKings participants said that fantasy baseball is marketed as based entirely on performance statistics and they would not have entered
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