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Giants win their first Asia Series championship

Kyodo

The Yomiuri Giants brought the Asia Series Championship back to Japan on Sunday, defeating the Taiwan champion Lamigo Monkeys 6-3 in the final.

Playing before a sparse crowd, the Giants took a four-run lead behind a two-run, second-inning double by Yoshihito Ishii and a two-run homer by backup catcher Kazunari Sanematsu. Ryosuke Miyaguni allowed a run in six innings to earn the win.

Giants shortstop Hayato Sakamoto, who drove in a run in each of Yomiuri’s three games, was named the tournament’s MVP.

The victory was the fifth by Japan’s representative in the tournament and its first since the Seibu Lions won in 2008 at Tokyo Dome. Last year, when the Asia Series resumed in Taiwan after a two-year hiatus, South Korea’s Samsung Lions defeated the Softbank Hawks to become the first non-Japanese club to lift the trophy.