NPB games, news of Oct. 13, 2019

The Hawks and Giants will meet in the Japan Series for a record 11th time after they clinched their league’s Climax Series final stages on Sunday with two games to spare. The Japan Series started in 1950 when Japanese pro ball split into two leagues and expanded. The Giants had played nine against the Nankai Hawks, who were sold to the Daiei supermarket chain in 1989. Daiei and Yomiuri played the other one, in 2000.

Hawks 9, Lions 3

At MetLife Dome, Kenta Imamiya had the game of his life, going 5-for-5 with a walk, three home runs and six RBIs as SoftBank won its seventh straight final stage game at Seibu’s stadium.

The Hawks are now into their third straight Japan Series, matching the three straight berths achieved twice by Nankai. The Japan Series starts on Saturday at Yafuoku Dome in Fukuoka.

Game highlights are HERE.

Giants 4, Tigers 1

At Tokyo Dome, Yomiuri’s bullpen inherited a two-on, no-out situation in the sixth inning and retired 12 straight batters to end Hanshin’s season after the Giants scored the go-ahead run on a two-out bunt single.

With Yasuhiro Yamamoto on third with a double and a sacrifice, No. 3 hitter Yoshihiro Maru, the Central League’s MVP the last two seasons, dropped a bunt down the third base line. Starting pitcher Yuki Nishi was all over it, but threw wide to first on what would have been a close play. Maru was credited with an RBI infield single.

“I saw (third baseman Yusuke) Oyama playing back a bit, so I thought I could beat it out,” Maru said, although no one accounted for the great jump Yamamoto had down the line.

Giants starter Yuki Takahashi allowed a run on two hits but walked four batters. The Giants tied it 1-1 when Kazuma Okamoto, the CS MVP, hit his third homer of the stage. Alex Guerrero hit his second of the stage, a two-run shot in the seventh to put the game out of reach.

Game highlights are HERE.

Jim Allen

sports editor for a wire service in Tokyo

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