NAGOYA, Japan -- Former Arizona Diamondback Alex Cabrera hit
a two-run home run Monday to lead the Seibu Lions to a 7-2 victory in
Game 7 of the Japan Series, their first title since 1992 and ninth
Takashi Ishii gave up three hits in six scoreless innings as the
Pacific League champion Lions became the first team since 1989 to
clinch the championship by winning the final two games of the
best-of-seven series on the road.
"It's an unbelievable feeling," first-year Seibu manager
Tsutomu Ito said. "This team never gave up and I never stopped
believing in these players."
Ishii, 1-5 in the regular season, was dominant in the series on his way to winning the MVP award. He won Game 1 when he held the Dragons to two hits over seven scoreless innings.
"I just tried to build on the momentum from yesterday's win,"
said the right-hander, who did not give up an earned run in the series.
"It's not often that I get to pitch in these situations. I just
tried to pitch as I always do."
Seibu took control of the game with a five-run third inning,
highlighted by Cabrera's homer off Chunichi reliever
Daisuke Yamai that bounced off the glass-enclosed private boxes
above the left-field seats.
It was Cabrera's third homer of the series. He had a grand slam
and a two-run homer in Game 3.
It was a disappointing finish for the Central League champion
Dragons, who were looking for their first Japan Series championship