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Updated: October 13, 2013
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Copyright © 1997-2013
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar

Carp advance to 2nd Round; Lions even Play-Offs
NISHINOMIYA / TOKOROZAWA (Japan) - Hiroshima Toyo Carp won 7-4 vs. Hanshin Tigers on Sunday-afternoon (October 13) to win the best-of-three First Round of the Central League Climax Series, 2-0. Hiroshima, which finished in third place in the season, now advances to the Second Round in which it will meet Yomiuri Giants, the champion of the regular season in the Central League. The opener of that series is on Wednesday. As league-champion, the Giants begin the 6-game series with an one-win advantage.

Seibu Lions shutout Chiba Lotte Marines 15-0 on Sunday in the Pacific League Climax Series, which is now tied at 1-1. The third and final game will be played on Monday.

Hanshin Tigers vs. Hiroshima Toyo Carp
Almost 47.000 spectators attended the game in Koshien Stadium, but saw the home team being left empty-handed for the second time in two days to be eliminated for the Japan Series.

Initially, it was Hanshin that appeared to be en route to a victory. The Tigers opened the score when Tsuyoshi Nishioka led off with a homerun in the first inning and despite the minimal lead, it held onto it for five innings.

But in the sixth inning, Hiroshima turned the game around in its favor. Ryosuke Kikuchi led off with a double, moved on sac-bunt, then scored the tying run on a double by Kila Ka'aihue. The latter advanced on a wild pitch, then scored on a single by Brad Eldred that made it 2-1 in favor of the Carp.

An RBI-triple by Eishin Soyogi added a run in the seventh, then three more were scored in the eighth at bat. Soichiro Amaya (single) and Shogo Kimura (sac-bunt error) advanced on a sac-bunt by Yoshiyuki Ishihara, then scored when pinch-hitter Tetsuya Kokubo hit a triple. A sac-fly by Ryosuke Kikuchi increased the lead to 6-1.

Hanshin then scored its second run in the bottom of the eighth inning on singles by Takahiro Arai, Ryota Imanari and pinch-hitter Kohei Shibata, but Hiroshima got the run back in the ninth on a wild pitch. In the bottom of the 9th, the Tigers scored two runs on a homerun by pinch-hitter Shinjiro Hiyama, but ended up short.

Hanshin collected six basehits, including only one (the lead-off homerun) off of starter Bryan Bullington, who pitched five innings, struckout two and was the winning pitcher. Hanshin-starter and losing pitcher Randy Messenger gave up seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Saitama Seibu Lions vs. Chiba Lotte Marines
After losing 11-1 on Saturday, the Lions today shutout the Marines with a big 15-0 score to even their best-of-three.

The Lions collected a record-setting total of 20 basehits, including four by first baseman Hideto Asamura and three by 2nd baseman Yasuyuki Kataoka. All nine starting players hit at least one basehit to contribute to the Play-Off record. The 15 runs also are a Play-Off record, since the current format was introduced in 2004. The Marines hit only six basehits.

Back-to-back doubles by Takumi Kuriyama and Hideto Asamura gave Seibu a 2-0 lead in the first inning. A 2-out, 2-run homerun by Yasuyuki Kataoka made it 4-0 in the next at bat.

A double by Ryo Sakata produced the fifth run in the third inning, then three runs followed in the fourth at bat. With one out, Esteban German walked, then Yasuyuki Kataoka singled and Takumi Kuriyama followed with a 3-run homerun.

Leading 8-0, the Lions staged a 5-run rally in the fifth inning on two walks and five basehits, including a double by Takeya Nakamura. The 13-0 lead was increased with two more runs in the eighth inning, thanks to a 2-run double by pinch-hitter Masato Kumashiro.

Yosuke Okamoto went the distance for the Lions and struckout five batters, while walking only one. For the 28-year old righthander, this was his first complete game in his Japanese big league-career of three seasons.

(October 13)

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Copyright © 1997-2013 Marco Stoovelaar / Grand Slam * Stats & News.