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Backward march ... [from Oct. 23]

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Backward march ... [from Oct. 23]

[Thought I posted this, but ....]

Marines end stumbling season with win

Seibu slugger Takeya Nakamura outhomered the Lotte Marines by himself (48-46), which makes it no surprise why the defending Japan Series champions finished in last place in Saturday’s Pacific League finale.

The Marines went homerless in their home finale, but managed a 5-2 win by outhitting the SoftBank Hawks 12-8 to triumph at The Q on Saturday.

It was the team's worst homer total ever and the first time a player has outhomered a team in the same league since 1954.

SoftBank’s Seiichi Uchikawa became the first player in 40 years to win battling titles in both leagues. The outfielder, hit .338, matching Shinichi Eto, who won titles in 1964-65 with the Chunichi Dragons and another with the Lotte Orions in 1971.

The Hawks' Nobihiro Matsuda, Yuichi Honda and Munenori Kawasaki became the first three teammates in NPB history to play every inning of every game in the same season.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

GIANTS 5, BAYSTARS 2

Hisayoshi Chono blasted a pinch-hit walk-off grand slam off Shun Yamaguchi (2-6) in the ninth inning as Yomiuri came back to beat Yokohama at Tokyo Dome.

He's only the eighth player in NPB history to hit a walk-off grand slam in a game in which his team was losing at the time.

Tetsuya Utsumi (18-5) came on in relief and tossed five scoreless innings for the win, tying Chunichi’s Kazuki Yoshimi for the CL lead.

Yokohama’s Shuichi Murata, who might be looking for a new team as a free agent in the offseason, hit a pair of solo blasts to reach the 250 plateau in longballs. In addition, Yokohama hurler Shinji Ohara worked in his 71st game, matching the NPB record for rookies.

TIGERS 7, CARP 1

Atsushi Nomi (12-9) won his fourth straight decision, going the distance in a six-hitter with five Ks, and Keichi Hirano had three hits and two runs as Hanshin won at Hiroshima.

Nomi fell short of the capturing the league in Ks and is two behind Hiroshima’s Kenta Maeda.

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