YOKOHAMA – The Yokohama BayStars clinched a spot in the Central League Climax Series for the second straight season on Sunday with a 13-7 beating of the league champion Hiroshima Carp.
Before a packed house of 28,966 at Yokohama Stadium, Yoshitomo Tsutstugo led off the bottom of the fifth with his second home run of the game to break a 7-7 tie. The hosts, who also got a home run from slugging No. 2 hitter Takayuki Kajitani, then poured it on with five more late runs.
BayStars starter Joe Wieland (10-2) surrendered seven runs, six earned, over five innings, but went 3-for-3 with a home run and four RBIs from the No. 8 spot in second-year manager Alex Ramirez’s lineup.
The BayStars’ next obstacle will be the second-place Hanshin Tigers, who will host the best-of-three first stage of the CL Climax Series at historic Koshien Stadium starting on Oct. 14. The winner of that clash will travel to Hiroshima to face the Carp in the best-of-seven final stage for the right to represent the CL in the Japan Series.
“Our No. 1 goal was to win the championship,” said Ramirez, whose team finished third last season and was eliminated in the final stage of the playoffs by the Carp. “We couldn’t win the second place, but we got the last part, we got into the Climax Series.
“The players did a tremendous job. I believed in them, and they believed in themselves and that is why we’re here.
“Now we’re going to go to play the second-place team, and then we’re going to go to Hiroshima and take it from them this time.”
The BayStars went 10-14 with one tie this season against the Tigers, but finished with a 13-12 mark against the two-time champion Carp.
Tigers 5, Giants 4
At Tokyo Dome, Kazuto Taguchi (13-4) allowed three runs in four innings and Seishu Hatake surrendered a pair of solo homers in the fifth as Yomiuri failed to reach the postseason for the first time since 2006 with its loss to Hanshin.
Lions 5, Fighters 0
At Sapporo Dome, Ryoma Nogami (11-10) worked eight innings to earn the win after backup catcher Masatoshi Okada cracked open a scoreless pitchers’ duel with a two-run, seventh-inning single. Seibu’s win over Hokkaido Nippon Ham moved the Lions three games ahead of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in the race for the No. 2 seed in the PL Climax Series.
Hawks 2, Buffaloes 0
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Kenta Imamiya’s two-run, ninth-inning double off Orix closer Yoshihisa Hirano (3-7) broke up a scoreless game, and Dennis Sarfate worked a 1-2-3 ninth to extend his Japan record for saves in a season to 54.
Marines 5, Eagles 2
At Sendai’s Kobo Park Miyagi, Shota Omine’s two-out, three-run, ninth-inning double brought Chiba Lotte from behind against Tohoku Rakuten closer Yuki Matsui (3-3).
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