Fukuoka Hawks eliminate Chiba Marines, advance to NPB Japan Series against Tokyo Giants

Fukuoka Hawks eliminate Chiba Marines, advance to NPB Japan Series against Tokyo Giants
16/11/2020
Two NPB powerhouses will meet in the final series for the 13th time. The Hawks are the three-time defending champions and topped the Giants in the 2019 finale. The Giants' 22 overall Japan Series titles leads NPB.

The Fukuoka Softbank Hawks swept the Chiba Lotte Marines in the Climax Series to win the Pacific League and advance to the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) Japan Series. They will face the Central League Champions Tokyo Yomiuri Giants.

The Hawks entered the Climax Series with a one-game advantage over the Marines thanks to their first-place finish in the regular season. Needing to win just two games in the 'best-of-five' series, the Hawks took the first two games, 4-3 and 6-4, to punch their ticket to the Japan Series.

Akira Nakamura, who helped Samurai Japan earn a silver medal in the inaugural WBSC Premier12, slugged two home runs in the second game, giving the Hawks bullpen the lead they needed.

Fukuoka's All-Star closer Yuito Mori loaded the bases on a couple of hits and a walk in the ninth, but then struck out Shogo Nakamura and got the third and final out on a fly by pinch hitter Toshiya Sato.

Taiwanese lefthander Chen Wei-yin, a 35-year old veteran of eight Major League Baseball (MLB) seasons (Baltimore Orioles, Miami Marlins) who represented Chinese Taipei in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, suffered the loss.

Japan Series 2020

When the Hawks and the Giants take the field on 21 November at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka, the home of the Tokyo Giants during the final series, it will be the 13th time they meet in the Japan Series. The Giants won the first matchup in 1951, while the Hawks won the last in 2019.

The Giants have won 22 Japan Series, while the Hawks have celebrated 10 times, five of them in the last six years. The Hawks are the three-time defending NPB champions.

Game 2 is also scheduled at the Kyocera Dome on 22 November. The series will then move to the PayPay Dome in Fukuoka for Games 3, 4 and eventual Game 5 (24, 25, 26 November). Games 6 and 7, if necessary, are scheduled for 28 and 29 November at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka

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