Tokyo, Japan (SportsNetwork.com) – Takahiro Norimoto and three relievers
combined on a no-hitter to lead Samurai Japan to a 4-0 win over the Major
League Baseball All-Stars on Saturday in the 2014 Japan Series.
The Japanese stars have captured each of the first three in the five-game set
that continues Sunday at the Tokyo Dome.
Norimoto struck out six and did not walk a batter in five perfect innings of
work. He threw only 60 pitches, 20 shy of the 80-pitch limit for starters in
Yuki Nishi issued a walk to Lucas Duda starting the sixth, but then set down
the next three batters. He hit Robinson Cano leading off the seventh, but
again retired the next three, including strikeouts of Justin Morneau and
Kazuhisa Makita ran into trouble in the eighth when he walked Salvador Perez
to start the inning and Dexter Fowler with one out. Alcides Escobar then
struck out and Ben Zobrist grounded out.
Yuji Nishino had no problems in the ninth, fanning Jose Altuve and retiring
Carlos Santana and Morneau on ground balls to complete the gem. Second baseman
Ryosuke Kikuchi made a nice play on Santana’s hard-hit grounder, taking away a
The Japanese stars did all their scoring against Jeremy Guthrie on a pair of
two-run homers. Hayato Sakamoto followed a Sho Nakata double in the second
with a blast over the left field wall, and Nakata drilled a shot over the
center field wall in the third after a Nobuhiro Matsuda single.
Guthrie went the first five innings for the MLB stars.
After Sunday’s game in Tokyo, the teams will play the finale of the series on
Tuesday in Sapporo.