The Seibu Lions completed a two-game sweep of the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in the first round of the Pacific League Climax Series on Sunday afternoon. With the victory, Seibu clinched a spot in the series’ Final Stage against league-leading Softbank Hawks.
The visitors scored an unearned run in the eighth inning to take a 2-1 lead before putting the game away with a six-run outburst in the ninth. Husky third baseman Takeya Nakamura struck the final blow, a three-run homer off reliever Naoki Miyanishi to end the scoring at 8-1.
In the Central League, the Yomiuri Giants staved off elimination against the Yakult Swallows with a 6-2 win at Meiji Jingu Stadium on Sunday night. The teams will conclude their Climax Series battle in a decisive third game at Jingu on Monday.
Catcher Shinnosuke Abe homered for the Giants, and pinch hitter Yoshinobu Takahashi broke open a 2-1 game with a bases-clearing double in the top of the ninth. Yomiuri starter Tetsuya Utsumi, who tied for the league lead with 18 victories during the regular season, pitched six innings of three-hit, one-run ball for the win.© Japan Today