Lions sweep Fighters; Giants stay alive in Climax Series

By Steve Trautlein

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.

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Anyone see Okawari running from 1st to home, trying to knock the ball out of the catcher`s glove? Hilarious!

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Husky third baseman Takeya Nakamura struck the final blow

Husky is just a very polite word for fat. He might have scored on that play at the plate if he dropped 10 Kg! Not that it mattered since the Fighters pitching staff took a 2-day holiday. Awful end to a very disappointing season for them.

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Both the Lions and Ham Fighters swallow

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And the Giants spit! Oh, D Yomiuri headline was "L Devour F." How about Giants SWALLOW Yakult?

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Watching SW - Gi. Great hit and baserunning by SW in the 7th!

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9th inning! Me thinks the Giants are about to go down... like a cheap ............ on a sailor!

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Swallows spit Giants!

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