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Kishi shines in inter-Lion duel

by Jim Allen (Nov 15, 2008)

Takayuki Kishi failed to go the distance but won a crucial pitchers' duel on Friday to keep the Saitama Seibu Lions' chances alive in the Asia Series at Tokyo Dome.

Kishi allowed a run in eight innings to outduel Pan Wei-lun in Seibu's 2-1 victory over their Taiwanese namesakes, the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions.

Kishi, who threw 120 pitches after tossing 238 over a four-day span during the recently completed Japan Series, said overwork was not a concern.

"I didn't feel any pressure [because of the workload], but this was a game we couldn't afford to lose, so I didn't want to lose it," said Kishi, who surrendered the game's first run on a fourth-inning sacrifice fly by Tirson Brito.

Seibu, however, managed to score twice in the bottom of the inning despite some excellent defense from the Taiwan champs.

Yoshihito Ishii started it with his second straight double, and Hiroyuki Oshima, who failed to bring Ishii home from third in the second inning, this time got the job done.

"In my previous at-bat, I failed to bring the runner home, so this time that's all I was thinking about when I stepped into the batter's box," said Oshima, who played in just 37 games this season.

Oshima was thrown out on a superb relay trying to score on Ginjiro Sumitani's single, but Shogo Akada's two-out double put Seibu in front.

Akada's double was very close to being an out, however, as right-fielder Kuo Chun-yu dove for the ball but came up empty.

Kishi allowed two doubles in the fourth, when he allowed his first run since an Oct. 18 playoff defeat, and issued a pair of walks.

"I never thought this was going to be an easy game," Seibu skipper Hisanobu Watanabe said. "Kishi must be exhausted but he made great pitches tonight."

Tomoki Hoshino retired two batters in the ninth, and Chikara Onodera got Brito on a foul pop to end it and pick up the save.

Kishi, asked if he'd be ready for the final despite throwing 358 pitches over nine days, said: "Forget about it."

Seibu (1-1) will finish up the round-robin portion of the tournament between the champions of the four Asian leagues by facing China's Tianjin Lions this afternoon.


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