KITAKYUSHU – Eiichi Koyano drove in three runs and Atsunori Inaba and Yoshio Itoi had two RBIs apiece as the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters routed the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks 9-3 to win their fifth game in a row on Wednesday.
Inaba opened the scoring in the first inning against Hideaki Takahashi (2-2) with an RBI double and had a run-scoring single in a five-run fourth, which featured Itoi’s two-run homer at Kitakyushu Stadium. The Fighters banged out 12 hits and scored nine runs through the fourth inning.
Ryo Sakakibara (3-0) won in relief. Kensuke Tanaka extended his hitting streak to 22 games in a 3-for-5 outing. Nobuhiko Matsunaka had a leadoff shot and Roberto Petagine added a two-run drive in the fourth for Softbank.
Eagles 10, Lions 8
Buffaloes at Marines — ppd.
Dragons 4, BayStars 2
At Toyohashi Stadium, Masahiko Morino and Kazuhiro Wada hit back-to-back home runs for the second night in a row, leading Chunichi past Yokohama.
Morino’s leadoff homer broke a 1-1 tie in the seventh inning and Wada followed with a blast of his own before Motonobu Tanishige added an RBI single to cap a three-run frame.
Daisuke Yamai (2-2) pitched seven innings of one-run ball. Hitoki Iwase earned his 253rd career save, breaking a tie with former BayStars closer Kazuhiro Sasaki for second on the all-time list. Rookie Shigeru Kaga (2-5) took the loss.
Swallows 4, Giants 3
At Jingu Stadium, three Swallows relievers pitched a perfect inning apiece as Tokyo Yakult edged Yomiuri.
Yakult turned a 3-1 deficit into a one-run lead in the fourth inning on RBI singles from Ryoji Aikawa and Shinya Miyamoto and a run-scoring error by first baseman Yoshinobu Takahashi.
Shohei Tateyama (4-5) allowed three runs in six innings for the win. Lim Chang Yong picked up his 12th save. Kentaro Nishimura (4-5) lasted only three-plus innings.
Tigers 9, Carp 4
At Yonago Stadium, Matt Murton went 4-for-5 with four RBIs, Takashi Toritani also collected four hits and Hanshin handed Hiroshima its third consecutive loss.
Murton had a two-run single, an RBI double and a run-scoring single as the Tigers pounded out 15 hits at Yonago Stadium.
Jason Standridge (3-1) held the Carp to two runs in six innings.