FIGHTERS EDGE OUT LIONS TO AIM FOR 1st PLACE
The bullpen saved the game when Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters deserved a 6-5 victory over Pacific League leading Seibu Lions at Sapporo Dome. Both starters were blown out and were got out the game earlly inning.
Fighters' rookie Tomoya Yagi allowed three runs by three hits in a row in the top of the 1st and gave Lions' slugger Kazuhiro Wada the second RBI this night in the 3rd right before Ham's coach Trey Hillman sent out Takehiko Oshimoto, who kept the game with no runs earned and a winner of the game. In a while, Chris Gissell's pitching was far from Lions coach Tsutomu Ito's expectation as the American resulted five runs earned to be struck four consecutive hits including Atsunori Inaba's three-run homer, his 25th this season, in the bottom of the 1st. After Tsuyoshi Shinjo's sac fly in 3rd, the right-hander handed Hsu Ming-Chieh, who gave the home team the 6th run by Fernando Seguignol's sac fly in 4th.
Fighters' bullpen worked well despite Lions' pinch-hitter Akira Eto's RBI single to cut the deficit at 1 while Seibu's relievers accomplished shut-out relay after the Taiwanese. Micheal Nakamura extended club's save record, 36th, to end the game. Play-off births of Pa. League had been booked by Fighters, Lions and Softbank Hawks, who stand the 2nd place by 1/2 game with Nippon-Ham together, but now I don't know where the first place winner goes.
Seibu 5-6 Nippon-Ham (12 Sep)