NISHINOMIYA, Hyogo Pref. (Kyodo) Alex Ramirez and Lee Seung Yeop each had three hits and drove in six runs between them as the Yomiuri Giants beat the Hanshin Tigers 6-4 on Saturday to regain a share of the Central League lead.
Yomiuri turned a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead in the third inning on Ramirez’s RBI single and Lee’s two-run homer in the penultimate matchup of the season between the archrivals who are locked in a tight pennant race.
An inning later, Ramirez drew a bases-loaded walk and Lee followed with a two-run single that put the Giants ahead 6-2 at Koshien Stadium.
Hanshin pulled within two runs in the sixth on a pinch-hit RBI single by Takahiro Arai, who returned from a back injury, and a bases-loaded walk to Akihiro Yano, but the Yomiuri bullpen ended the Tigers’ rally there.
Tetsuya Utsumi (11-8) allowed four runs and six hits in five-plus innings for the Giants, who have won 13 of their last 15 games.
Marc Kroon pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his CL-leading 37th save.
Minoru Iwata (9-10) was charged with six runs in 3 2/3 innings as Hanshin lost for the first time in five games.