Fighters take Pacific League title for second year in a row
by Bob Timmermann
The expected pitching duel in Sapporo between pitchers with sub-2.00 ERAs didn't transpire and the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters won the Pacific League again with a 6-2 win over the Chiba Lotte Marines at the Sapporo Dome. The Fighters won the series 3 games to 2.
Yoshihisa Naruse of the Marines was 16-1 in the regular season, but he was knocked out after 3 2/3 IP. Yu Darvish of the Fighters went 6 2/3 innings, but had just two strikeouts.
The Fighters will take on the winner of the second stage of the Central League playoffs which started Thursday as well. The Chunichi Dragons defeated the Yomiuri Giants 5-2 at the Tokyo Dome to take a 1-0 lead in the best of five series. All the games will be played in Tokyo.