Tadahito Iguchi slammed a game-ending solo homer in the bottom of the 12th as the Pacific League-leading Fukuoka Daiei Hawks edged the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 7-6 at Fukuoka Dome on Thursday.
Iguchi whacked a Yusaku Iriki (2-4) offering into the center-field bleachers for his fourth career “sayonara” home run.
With one out and the Fighters leading 6-3 in the eighth, Nobuhiko Matsunaka was hit by a pitch. Kenji Jojima then followed with his 36th homer of the year before Julio Zuleta homered for his fifth straight game to tie the game.
Shinji Kurano (9-1) relieved the final 1 1/3 innings for his ninth win in 36th games.
If the Fighters lose against the BlueWave on the 24th, the Marines will clinch the final playoff spot.
Nobuhiko Matsunaka still leads the PL in batting average (.358), RBIs (120) and HRs (44).
BlueWave 9, Buffaloes 2
Hisashi Ogura (4-5) combined with three relievers on a five-hitter as Orix downed Osaka Kintetsu at Osaka Dome.
Ogura scattered four hits over six innings while walking none for his first win since July 2.
Down 2-1 in the fourth, Orix scored the game-tying run on a fielding error before going ahead with a Daisuke Hayakawa RBI single.
Yuichiro Mukae, Makoto Shiozaki and Mitsutaka Goto drove home two runs each for the BlueWave.
BayStars 11, Giants 10
At Yokohama Stadium, Ryoji Aikawa doubled home two runs to cap a four-run go-ahead ninth as the BayStars beat Yomiuri with a “sayonara” victory.
The Giants scored four runs in the top of the ninth with a solo homer by Toshihisa Nishi, a two-run clout by Hiroki Kokubo — his 40th homer of the season — and a solo blast by Yoshinobu Takahashi to take a 10-7 lead.
In the bottom of the frame, however, Tatsuhiko Kinjo and Hitoshi Tamura hit back-to-back RBI singles to cut the lead to one. Katsuaki Furuki then drew a walk before Aikawa nailed a game-winning double off Giants closer Hiroshi Kisanuki (7-8).
Ken Kadokura (4-7) worked the final inning for the win.
Swallows 5, Dragons 1
At Nagoya Dome, Ryo Kawashima (10-4) yielded one run on three-hit ball in five-plus innings to post double-digit wins in his rookie season and Katsuyuki Dobashi chipped in with two RBIs as Yakult outslugged first-place Chunichi.
Akinori Iwamura and Alex Ramirez hit back-to-back RBI singles followed by Dobashi’s sacrifice fly for a 3-0 lead in the first. After Chunichi cut the deficit to 3-1 in the fifth, Ken Suzuki and Dobashi had RBI hits in the eighth to cap the scoring.
Chunichi’s Takashi Ogasawara (1-2) allowed three runs — two earned — in five innings for the loss.
Tigers at Carp — ppd.