Fukui blasts one for Giants

On a night of superb pitching from both teams, Yomiuri’s Keiji Fukui hit the game-winning home run in the top of the 10th to lift the Giants over the Hanshin Tigers 1-0 on Friday night at Koshien Stadium.

Central League
Won Lost Tied Pct. GB
Hanshin 11 5 1 .688 -
Hiroshima 9 6 1 .600 1.5
Yomiuri 9 7 0 .563 2.0
Yakult 8 9 0 .471 3.5
Chunichi 7 8 1 .467 3.5
Yokohama 4 13 1 .235 7.5
Pacific League
Won Lost Tied Pct. GB
Daiei 11 5 1 .688 -
Seibu 10 5 1 .667 0.5
Kintetsu 8 7 1 .533 2.5
Nippon Ham 8 8 0 .500 3.0
Orix 6 10 0 .375 5.0
Lotte 3 11 1 .214 7.0

Fukui, who entered the game in the seventh as a pinch hitter, clinched the game by hitting one into the left-center stands.

Masumi Kuwata (1-1) got the win after hurling nine innings. He allowed four hits and struck out eight. Junichi Kawahara closed out the game with his fourth save.

Tigers lefty Kei Igawa (3-1) was the unfortunate looser, pitching all 10 innings. He gave up six hits and struck out eight.

Carp 1, BayStars 1

At Yokohama Stadium, the host out hit Hiroshima 11-4 but had to settle for a 1-1 tie after 11 innings.

Hirofumi Ogawa put Yokohama on top with a single in the fourth inning to drive in Boi Rodriguez, but Hiroshima drew even in the eighth on Yokohama firstbaseman Hiroo Ishii’s error.


Buffaloes 4, Hawks 2

At the Osaka Dome, Tuffy Rhodes and Norihiro Nakamura each hit one into the stands, combining for three runs, to lead struggling Kintetsu over league-leading Daiei.

Rhodes opened the Buffaloes scoring in the third with a two-run shot off Keizaburo Tanoue (1-2). Nakamura’s home run in the fifth extended the lead to 4-0. Leadoffman Naoyuki Omura was 3-for-3.

Hiroshi Takamura picked up his second win (2-1), going 6 2/3 innings and yielding one run on seven hits.

In the top of the ninth, Daiei designated hitter Morgan Burkhart hit his first homer in Japan.

Marines 3, Fighters 0

At the Tokyo Dome, Nathan Minchey held Nippon Ham to four hits in eight innings and Lotte stretched its winning streak to three, including one tie in between.

The Marines only produced three hits, but ex-Major Leaguer Derrick May hit one of them — a three-run shot in the third.

Nippon Ham could do little against Minchey (1-3), who struck out five batters, and lost its fourth straight game, dropping to .500 for the year.

Lions 4, BlueWave 2

At Kagoshima Stadium, Seibu catcher Toshiaki Inubushi went 2-for-3, batting in three runs, and second-year southpaw Koji Mitsui (3-1) allowed only two hits in 6 2/3 innings as the Lions downed Orix.

Seibu’s ace Daisuke Matsuzaka came in as a relief in the seventh, but Orix outfielder Koji Takamizawa ruined his outing by hitting his first professional homer. BlueWave designated hitter Fernando Seguignol, who was 3-for-3 for the night, hit his sixth roundtripper off Mitsui in the sixth.

Orix starter Koo Dae Sung (2-1) fanned seven batters in 7 2/3 innings.

Akahoshi scratched

OSAKA (Kyodo) Last year’s Central League rookie of the year Norihiro Akahoshi was taken off the Tigers’ active roster after being diagnosed with a broken leg, Hanshin Tigers officials said Friday.

Akahoshi, who became the first player in 55 years to win rookie honors and the stolen base title in the same season last year, was whacked by his batted ball just below the right knee during Thursday’s 1-1 draw with the Chunichi Dragons in Nagoya.

Medical examinations Friday revealed there is a fracture in the tibia of his right leg that will require some six weeks to heal completely. Hanshin trainers said Akahoshi will be in a cast for one-to-three weeks.

Outfielder Masashi Matsuda will replace Akahoshi on the roster.

Akahoshi was the second of the Tigers’ regulars to be sidelined with an injury this season after catcher Akihiro Yano was knocked out of action with a dislocated shoulder on April 13.