Yuma Mune doubled in two runs and Yuma Tongu hit a solo home run as the Orix Buffaloes edged the Hanshin Tigers 5-4 in Tuesday's Game 3 to lead the best-of-seven Japan Series two games to one.

The Orix Buffaloes' Yuma Mune hits a two-run double in the fifth inning of Game 3 of the Japan Series against the Hanshin Tigers at Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya, Japan, on Oct. 31, 2023. (Kyodo)

An inning after Tongu, the 2023 Pacific League batting champion with a .307 average, homered to tie the game at 1-1, Mune capped a three-run fifth inning with a two-run double to right-center at Koshien Stadium.

"As the count deepened, I began to think I could get a hit there," third baseman Mune said. "The enthusiastic cheering for the home team is amazing here. I'm glad we won this close game."

"Everyone on our team is concentrating. I just want to contribute in any way."

Fans watch from the stands as Hanshin Tigers and Orix Buffaloes players line up before Game 3 of the Japan Series at Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya, Japan, on Oct. 31, 2023. (Kyodo)

A sacrifice fly by Kenya Wakatsuki pushed the Buffaloes' lead to 5-1 in the sixth, but the Central League champion Tigers battle back to score three runs in the seventh, with rookie Shota Morishita delivering a two-run single.

Orix right-hander Kohei Azuma, who had a 6-0 record with a 2.06 ERA in the regular season, allowed one run and five hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out four in an 81-pitch outing.

Hanshin left-hander Masashi Ito gave up four runs, two earned, in five innings of work.

Hanshin Tigers starter Masashi Ito looks back after surrendering a game-tying solo home run to the Orix Buffaloes' Yuma Tongu in the fourth inning of Game 3 of the Japan Series at Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya, Japan, on Oct. 31, 2023. (Kyodo)

Seiya Kinami had three hits for Hanshin but struck out with the potential tying run on second in the eighth.

Orix closer Yoshihisa Hirano walked two batters but struck out Yusuke Oyama for the final out.

"It's a team effort," Orix manager Satoshi Nakajima said. "The atmosphere here was more than expected, but we were able to hear cheers from Orix fans, too."

"Azuma is not an experienced pitcher but he pitched well without being intimidated. Even a veteran man like Hirano felt enormous pressure. We just need to win no matter how."

In the first Japan Series between teams from the western Kansai region since 1964, the Tigers took the opener 8-0 and the Buffaloes won Game 2 by the same score.

Related coverage:

Baseball: Hiroya Miyagi pitches Buffaloes past Tigers to tie Japan Series

Baseball: Gonzalez credits manager Nakajima for Orix successes

Baseball: Murakami duel might be bittersweet ending for Yamamoto