Kansai Teams Top Japan’s Baseball Leagues as Three-Peating Orix Buffaloes Join Hanshin Tigers as Pennant Winners

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Buffaloes players toss Orix manager Satoshi Nakajima in celebration after the team won its third consecutive Pacific League pennant on Wednesday in Osaka.

The Orix Buffaloes clinched the Pacific League pennant for the third year in a row after defeating the second-place Chiba Lotte Marines 6-2 on Wednesday night at Kyocera Dome in Osaka.

With the Hanshin Tigers clinching the Central League last week, this marks the first time in 59 years that both leagues in Nippon Professional Baseball have been won by teams from the Kansai region. In 1964 the Tigers and the Nankai Hawks (currently the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks) topped their leagues.

For Orix, this was its fifth pennant dating back to the time it was called the BlueWave. For the franchise overall, going back to its predecessor the Hankyu Braves, this was its 15th league title.

The last time a team three-peated in the Pacific League was during the Seibu Lions’ run of five straight pennants from the 1990 through 1994 seasons.

The Yomiuri Shimbun