Adam Jones spoiled the title celebration the Tokyo Yakult Swallows were planning to have on manager Shingo Takatsu’s birthday, but he did give his fellow former major leaguer a gift.
A ticket to Kobe for Game 6.
Jones hit a tiebreaking pinch-hit home run to lead off the top of the ninth and the Orix Buffaloes avoided elimination with a 6-5 win over the Tokyo Yakult Swallows in Game 5 of the Japan Series at Tokyo Dome on Thursday night.
“We continue to fight,” Jones said. “The Swallows continue to play hard, they play great baseball and we just continue to do our on thing. We knew that today was do or die, and we did. We’re moving back home, Game 6.”
The series heads to Hotto Motto Field in Kobe for Game 6 on Saturday with the Swallows leading 3-2.
The Buffalos put runs on the board in five of the final six innings, but could not completely put away the Swallows.
“We fight until the last out,” Jones said. “We don’t get nervous, we don’t get down on ourselves, we fight until the last out.”
Orix outfielder Masataka Yoshida reached on a two-out throwing error by Jose Osuna at first base in the sixth, and Yutaro Sugimoto kept the inning going with a hit to left. Takahiro Okada followed with an RBI single to right that tied the score at 2-2. Sugimoto tried to follow Yoshida home when Okada got caught in a rundown between first and second, but was thrown out at the plate.
Buffaloes shortstop Kotaro Kurebayashi singled to begin the seventh and moved to second on Torai Fushimi’s sacrifice bunt. Second basemen Ryo Ota, making his first appearance in the series, drove in his first run with a tiebreaking triple to give Orix a 3-2 lead.
Pinch hitter Steven Moya then hit a fly ball to right that landed just in front of a sliding Santana as Ota came home to add on another run.
Kurebayashi picked up his second hit of a game with a single in the eighth and Fushimi drove him in with a double to make the score 5-2.
Swallows outfielders Yasutaka Shiomi and Norichika Aoki drew walks against Orix reliever Tyler Higgins to start the eighth and Tetsuto Yamada put a charge into the Swallows fans at Tokyo Dome with a home run that tied the score.
Jones came to the plate to start the ninth and hit a deep shot to left that stayed fair and put the Buffaloes ahead.
Yoshihisa Hirano took the mound for Orix in the ninth and pitched around a walk to keep the series going.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.