Hiroshima Carp pitcher Kenta Maeda lost a no-hitter with one out in the ninth inning, then allowed the Tokyo Yakult Swallows a 2-1 walkoff win as the Central League’s regular season ended Tuesday.
Maeda, last season’s Sawamura Award winner, gave up a double to pinch hitter Atsushi Fujimoto that broke up his no-hit bid in the bottom of the ninth at Jingu Stadium.
Maeda (10-12) then allowed an infield single to Tsuyoshi Ueda before walking Hiroyasu Tanaka to load the bases.
Fujimoto scored the tying run on Kazuhiro Hatakeyama’s grounder to second, and pinch hitter Kazuki Fukuji won it for the Swallows with a single to left.
The Climax Series for both the CL and the Pacific League starts on Saturday.