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Friday, 10th October 2008
In Sports,

Yomiuri claim baseball title for 2nd year

The Central League baseball title was retained today by the Yomiuri Giants.

It was the second consecutive year that Yomiuri have topped the league and represents their 32nd championship title overall, Kyodo reports.

Victory came with a 3-1 win over the Yakult Swallows, while rivals Hanshin Tigers fell 4-3 to the Yokohama Baystars.

Yomiuri were inspired by catcher Shinnosuke Abe, who hit a home run and two runs during the encounter. However, the hero was unable to join in with his teammates' celebrations as he was struck down with injury.

The side's triumph follows a slow start to the season, having lost their opening five matches.

However, a 13-game unbeaten run saw them make ground on Hanshin and eventually topple the Tigers to claim the crown for a second season.

According to Japanball.com, the Giants are the oldest, most popular and most successful team in the country.