• Kyodo News


The Pacific League on Thursday released the schedule for the 2009 season, which will open simultaneously with the Central League for the first time in six years.

The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, who won the 2007 PL title, take on the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles at Sapporo Dome, the Chiba Lotte Marines face the Seibu Lions at Chiba Marine Stadium and the Softbank Hawks meet the Orix Buffaloes at Yahoo Dome in season openers getting under way April 3.

The top three teams of the 2007 season will host the opening series.

A total of 144 games, including 24 in interleague, will be played by each team as was the case this past season.

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