Rakuten Takes One Game Advantage Into Sendai

The Rakuten Golden Eagles beat the Yomiuri Giants 4-2 to travel to Sendai needing only one win to take the Japan Series.  Masahiro Tanaka is expected to pitch in one of those two games.

Yesterday the hero was Ginji Akaminai, who roped the RBI single that gave the Eagles a 3-2 lead.  Andrew Jones added another single to give the Eagles an insurance run, just barely beating the throw to first.  Rookie Takahiro Norimoto retired the Giants in order in the tenth in his fifth inning of bullpen work to give the Eagles the win.

The Eagles jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the third on RBI singles from Takero Okajima and an RBI double from Akaminai.  Wataru Karashima pitched five innings of one hit ball for the Eagles, giving up that lone hit in the fifth inning.

Norimoto came on in the sixth.  He gave up a solo homerun to Shuichi Murata in the seventh.  Murata also had an RBI infield single off the glove of Norimoto in the ninth to tie the game.  With one out and two runners on Norimoto was able to retire the next two hitters to send the game into the tenth inning.

He led off the tenth inning, drew the walk and was able to score the go ahead run.

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