• Kyodo


Takashi Toritani and Matt Murton drove in two runs apiece and Craig Brazell contributed with three RBIs as the Hanshin Tigers beat the Hiroshima Carp 11-4 to book a spot in the Climax Series playoffs for the first time in two years on Saturday.

The third-place Tigers join the second-place Yomiuri Giants and the newly crowned Central League winning Chunichi Dragons in the postseason.

Brazell had a two-run single in the first inning and Toritani’s two-run single — his third single of the day — highlighted a five-run fifth at Mazda Stadium.

“As the leadoff man, I was trying to get on base and I was able to get a good result today,” said Toritani, who usually bats third. “You know we weren’t able to win the league title, so now we are pulling to come in second. Hopefully, we can win our remaining (four) games.”

Asked to comment on his 100th RBI of the season, the shortstop said, “That was one of my personal targets, so getting 100 feels good.”

Murton had a pair of RBI singles, moving within one of matching Ichiro Suzuki’s Japanese baseball single-season hit record of 210 he set in 1994.

Atsushi Nomi (7-0) won with two innings of scoreless relief. Giancarlo Alvarado (8-8) took the loss.

Giants 7, BayStars 1

At Tokyo Dome, Alex Ramirez hit a leadoff homer, his baseball-leading 47th, and Ryota Wakiya followed an out later with a three-run drive as Yomiuri rallied in the second inning en route to a win over lowly Yokohama.

Shugo Fujii (7-3) pitched one-run ball over 6 2/3 innings for his first win since June 26, helping his own cause with an RBI double in the fourth.

Swallows 3, Dragons 2

At Nagoya Dome, Josh Whitesell broke a seventh-inning tie with a pinch-hit, two-run double, leading Tokyo Yakult over Chunichi in the Dragons’s final regular-season game.

Kyohei Muranaka (11-9) allowed one unearned run and six hits in six innings for the win. Lim Chang Yong picked up his 34th save.

Chunichi’s Masahiko Morino went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs.


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