Baseball: Lions salvage tie as clock ticks down in playoff push

©Kyodo News

Seven relievers combined to throw 9-1/3 scoreless innings and Takeya Nakamura scored three runs as the Seibu Lions overcame an early deficit to forge a 6-6 10-inning tie against the Rakuten Eagles on Saturday.

The Lions began the day at Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi in a second-place tie with the Lotte Marines in their battle to win the Pacific League's final playoff spot and a trip to Fukuoka to play the league champion SoftBank Hawks for the right to play in the Japan Series.

Nakamura scored after a second-inning leadoff single and a sixth-inning leadoff walk. He doubled off reliever D.J. Johnson with one out in the seventh and scored on a Cory Spangenberg single to make it 6-6.

The Lions have two games left on their schedule, while the Marines, who need to finish with a better record than the Lions in order to reach the postseason have three, including their game that started later on Saturday.

In the Central League, Takumi Akiyama (11-3) worked seven-plus innings and Yusuke Oyama hit his 28th home run as the Hanshin Tigers beat the Hiroshima Carp 2-0 at Hiroshima's Mazda Stadium.