NISHINOMIYA, Hyogo Pref. – Alex Ochoa hit a two-run homer and Kosuke Fukudome delivered a solo blast as the front-running Chunichi Dragons kicked off the second half of the season with a 4-3 victory over the Hanshin Tigers in the Central League on Friday.
misses the pick-off from catcher Daisuke Maeda as Hiroyuki
Shibata of Seibu steals second in the 10th inning of
Friday’s game at Yahoo BB Stadium.
In the first game after the All-Star series last weekend, Fukudome had an RBI groundout in the first inning before Ochoa sent a Kei Igawa (7-7) pitch over the wall in center field for an early 3-0 lead at Koshien Stadium.
Fukudome made it stand with his 20th homer of the season in the fourth to help make a winner of Masahiro Yamamoto (7-3), who allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings for the win. Marc Valdes pitched the ninth for his first save of the season.
Giants 5, Swallows 4
At Tokyo Dome, Tomohiro Nioka broke a 1-all tie with a two-run single in the sixth inning and Koji Uehara (7-4) won the decision despite yielding four runs in eight innings while striking out 10 as Yomiuri sent Yakult to its third straight defeat.
Yakult cut the deficit on a Billy Martin solo shot in the seventh and added another two in runs in the eighth but it was not enough. Tuffy Rhodes hit a solo shot in a two-run seventh for his league-leading 28th homer this season.
Shinnosuke Abe, who is back after injuring his left hamstring in late June, doubled in the opening run in the second.
BayStars 7, Carp 4
At Yokohama Stadium, Tatsuhiko Kinjo connected for a two-run blast and Tyrone Woods and Takahiro Saeki also homered as Yokohama took a 4-1 lead through the fifth en route to victory over Hiroshima.
Takuro Ishii, Kinjo and Saeki each chipped in with two runs apiece and Kazuhiro Sasaki pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts to earn his 19th save.
BlueWave 2, Lions 1 (10)
At Yahoo BB Stadium, Kazuhiko Shiotani drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 10th inning Friday as Orix beat Pacific League-leading Seibu.
Pinch-hitter Hidemitsu Saito and Arihito Muramatsu hit back-to-back singles before Makoto Shiozaki was intentionally walked as Orix loaded the bases against Tomoki Hoshino (3-1), who could not escape the jam and wasted a strong performance by starter Fumiya Nishiguchi.
Kazuo Yamaguchi (2-2) earned the win after working a scoreless inning in relief of Hidetaka Kawagoe, who held Seibu to four hits.
Buffaloes 12, Hawks 5
At Osaka Dome, Kintetsu sent 13 batters to the plate in a nine-run seventh to hammer Daiei, which saw three pitchers rocked with nine hits and a walk in the big inning.
Mario Valdez drove home four runs with a homer in the fourth off Kazumi Saito (5-4) and a bases-clearing double in the seventh. Right-hander Katsunari Yoshikawa (2-1), the fourth of the seven Kintetsu pitchers in the game, got the win.
Marines 8, Fighters 2
At Chiba Marine Stadium, Tasuku Hashimoto tied the game with a sacrifice fly and Matt Franco followed with a three-run homer as Lotte rallied for four runs in the sixth inning and went on to beat Nippon Ham.