Tigers 3, Lions 0
TOKYO (AP) _ Randy Bass hit a three-run home run in the eighth inning and Chikafusa Ikeda pitched a six-hitter to lead the Hanshin Tigers to a 3-0 victory over the Seibu Lions in the first game of the best-of-seven Japan Series.
Bass, a former Texas Ranger, drilled a slider by Seibu’s Kimiyasu Kudo into the left-field stands after Terufumi Mayumi doubled and went to third on Sumio Hirota’s single.
Bass said after the game he was ″just trying to hit a fly ball″ to score Mayumi from third.
The game at Seibu Stadium, the Pacific League champion’s home field in the outskirts of Tokyo, was seen by 32,400 fans.
Hanshin this year won its first pennant in 21 years behind the power hitting of Bass, winner of the triple crown with an average of .350, 54 homers and 134 RBIs. He came within one of the Japanese record for home runs in a season.
The Tigers touched Seibu’s sidearming starter Hirohisa Matsunuma, 14-6, for only four hits over the first seven innings, and it was Ikeda, 9-6, a regular on Hanshin’s weak pitching staff, who kept the Tigers in the game.
Ikeda was only in trouble once, in the seventh, when pinch-hitter Shinsaku Katahira singled and went to second on Koji Akiyama’s single with one out. But Ikeda retired the next two batters on fly balls.