The Yomiuri Giants hadn’t played a game that really counted for anything since clinching the Central League pennant on Sept. 21. They hadn’t played any official games at all since Sept. 28.
When they finally did get back on the diamond, it didn’t take long for the Kyojin to get back into the swing of things.
Yoshihiro Maru and Kazuma Okamoto hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning and Shun Yamaguchi pitched into the eighth as the Giants beat the Hanshin Tigers 5-2 in Game 1 of the Central League Climax Series Final Stage in front of a crowd of 45,177 on Thursday night at Tokyo Dome.
Because the Giants began the final stage with a 1-0 advantage as the pennant winners, they now lead the series 2-0.
Game 2 is Friday night at the Big Egg. Christopher Mercedes will get the start for the Giants against the Tigers’ Haruto Takahashi.
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