They didn’t win the battle but they won the war. The Chunichi Dragons clinched first place in the Central League on Tuesday night by rallying for a 3-3, 10-inning tie against the Yokohama BayStars at Yokohama Stadium.
After suffering a weekend sweep at the hands of the Yomiuri Giants, the Dragons entered the game with their fourth consecutive chance at the title. But it looked like more misery was in store when starting pitcher Maximo Nelson dug his team into a 3-0 hole in the fourth inning by giving up back-to-back RBI hits to shortstop Naoto Watanabe and left fielder Yuta Naito.
Dragons first baseman Tony Blanco salvaged the tie in the top of the sixth with one swing of his bat. After singles by right fielder Takehiro Donoue and third baseman Masahiko Morino, Blanco smacked a 2-2 pitch from BayStars starter Futoshi Kobayashi over the wall in right-center for his 16th home run of the year.
Elsewhere in the Central League, Yakult topped Hanshin 4-0. In the Pacific League, Softbank beat Orix 4-1, Seibu beat Nippon Ham 4-3, and Rakuten tied Chiba Lotte 5-5.© Japan Today