Yoshinobu Takahashi hit two of his team’s four home runs off Kenshin Kawakami as the Yomiuri Giants overtook the Chunichi Dragons for first place in the Central League with a 6-3 win on Thursday.
Lee Seung Yeop, Takahashi and Shinnosuke Abe each hit a solo homer between the third and fifth innings to erase a 3-0 deficit.
Takahashi’s two-run shot over the left-field wall broke the stalemate and put Yomiuri ahead 5-3 in the sixth at Tokyo Dome.
Tetsuya Utsumi (12-5) allowed three runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings. Kawakami (10-7) was charged with five runs and five hits in six innings.
Yoshitomo Tani doubled in an insurance run for Yomiuri in the seventh. Norihiro Nakamura hit a two-run homer to cap Chunichi’s three-run third.
Swallows 8, Tigers 1
At Jingu Stadium, Yuichi Matsumoto went 4-for-4 with a grand slam and six RBIs in his first top-team appearance of the season as Tokyo Yakult routed Hanshin to snap a three-game losing streak.
Matsumoto hit a grand slam off Naohisa Sugiyama (4-5) to push Yakult’s lead to 5-0 in the third inning and added a two-run single in the seventh.
The Brazilian-born outfielder had singles in his other two at-bats.
Seth Greisinger (13-4) became the first 13-game winner in the league after holding Hanshin to one run and three hits in 6 2/3 innings.
BayStars 6, Carp 2
At Hiroshima Stadium, Toshihisa Nishi and Shingo Nonaka drove in two runs apiece, leading Yokohama over Hiroshima.
Yokohama broke the game open in the sixth as Nonaka followed a Nishi RBI single with a two-run triple for a 6-1 lead. Nishi also had a run-scoring double in the second.
Naoki Mitsuhashi (1-0) allowed one run and five hits in five innings.
Marines 4, Eagles 3
At Chiba Marine Stadium, Toshiaki Imae scored the game-winning run on a throwing error by shortstop Naoto Watanabe in the bottom of the 10th inning, giving the Marines a victory over Tohoku Rakuten.
Imae had a leadoff single, moved to second on a walk to Tsuyoshi Nishioka and scored after Watanabe made an errant relay throw to first on a potential double play grounder by Daisuke Hayakawa.
Yasuhiko Yabuta (2-5) got the win with a perfect 10th. Shinichiro Koyama (1-1) took the loss.
Veteran Rakuten slugger Takeshi Yamasaki hit his Pacific League-leading 38th home run, one more than Tuffy Rhodes of the Orix Buffaloes.
Hawks 4, Lions 1
At Fukuoka’s Yahoo Dome, Hidenori Tanoue hit a tiebreaking two-run homer among his three hits as the Hawks beat Seibu for their third straight win.
Jason Standridge (4-0) held Seibu to one run and five hits in 5 2/3 innings. Takahiro Mahara closed out the ninth to pick up his league-leading 31st save.