NPB games, news of Sept. 21, 2019

The Yomiuri Giants avoided setting a franchise record for most seasons without a league pennant on Saturday, when they came from behind to beat the second-place DeNA BayStars 3-2 in 10 innings at Yokohama Stadium.

Central League

Giants 3, BayStars 2

At Yokohama Stadium, DeNA just couldn’t get the final out. Closer Yasuaki Yamasaki retired the first two batters in the ninth, but two walks set up Seiji Kobayashi for a game-tying RBI single when Yamasaki missed high with a mediocre 1-1 slider.

Kazuki Mishima walked two batters to open the 10th, and struck out the next two, but surrendered the go-ahead run on a bouncer that found a hole.

The Giants bullpen, too pitched itself into trouble in the seventh and eighth inning, when DeNA had two on and no outs. Hirokazu Sawamura kept the BayStars from pulling away in the eighth when Jose Lopez smoked a two-out liner that was caught at third base for the final out.

“They never give up after two outs,” BayStars manager Alex Ramirez said. “They were able to come back during the game. They really did deserve that (pennant).”

“Plan B now for us. Our guys did a tremendous job until this point and there is nothing to be ashamed of. We’ve got to just continue playing.”

Game highlights are HERE.

Tigers 4, Carp 2

At Koshien Stadium, 39-year-old former Cub Kyuji Fujikawa converted his 14th-straight save opportunity as Hanshin beat Hiroshima.

Game highlights are HERE.

Dragons 14, Swallows 2

At Jingu Stadium, Yuya Yanagi (11-6) surrendered 19-year-old Munetaka Murakami’s 36th home run but little else over six solid innings as Chunichi clobbered last-place Yakult.

Pacific League

Fighters 8, Hawks 1

At Yafuoku Dome, Koehi Arihara (15-8) made SoftBank’s final home game of the regular season a bitter experience as the Nippon Ham ace allowed a run in seven innings that inched the Hawks closer to a second-consecutive second-place finish.

Game highlights are HERE.

Eagles 6, Lions 1

At Rakuten Seimei Park, Seibu missed a chance to cut their magic number to clinch to two after Tatsuya Imai struck out six over seven scoreless innings. Instead, Rakuten rallied against the Lions’ bullpen ace, middle reliever Katsunori Hirai (4-2), who allowed five runs in a third of an inning.

Game highlights are HERE.

Buffaloes 3, Marines 1

At Kyocera Dome, Brandon Dickson, who took over Orix’s closer role in mid-season, saved his 18th game after Taisuke Yamaoka (12-4) held Lotte to a run over eight innings.

Game highlights are HERE.

Jim Allen

sports editor for a wire service in Tokyo

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