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Should the Hanshin Tigers be worried about the “road trip of death?” Sure, it sounds ominous, as do most things when you tack “of death” onto the end, but it’s not nearly as bad as in the past. Either way, the team has to face it now.

The Tigers were full of life at home in Koshien Stadium on Friday night, earning a 5-4 win over the Yokohama BayStars on a sayonara single by Kosuke Fukudome in the 10th inning. Rain washed away the next two games of the weekend series, and preparations for the stadium to host the National High School Baseball Championship, which starts Saturday, begin this week. So the Tigers won’t play another game in their home ballpark until Aug. 27. They’ll play five road series and also “host” six games at Osaka Dome during that span.

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