SENDAI – Tomoaki Kanemoto hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the seventh inning, Yasutomo Kubo threw one-run ball over eighth frames and the Hanshin Tigers defeated the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 2-1 to snap a three-game losing streak on Sunday.
The victory pulled the struggling Tigers out of last place.
Masato Nakamura gave Rakuten a 1-0 lead with an RBI double in the first before Hanshin’s rally in driving rain at Kleenex Stadium.
Takahiro Arai singled with two outs in the seventh. After popping out to shortstop and grounding out in his first two at-bats, Kanemoto shrugged off pain in his right shoulder to launch a shot off Takashi Kawai (0-2) into the seats in right.
“I hit the ball on the sweet part of the bat, but I thought it might go foul. I was able to keep it fair with my swing,” said Kanemoto, who is hitting just .220 with three homers. “I felt like I was letting my team down since I haven’t been driving in runs.”
Kubo (3-3) surrendered five hits, struck three and walked one. Kyuji Fujikawa worked the ninth for his ninth save.
“I hadn’t been contributing to the team lately, so it’s good to win today,” said Kubo. “Our opponent got to me in the first inning and I thought things weren’t going my way, but I just stayed patient and hoped that the team would score and that’s what they did.”
Fighters 1, Carp 0
At Sapporo Dome, Masaru Takeda threw seven scoreless innings en route to his first win since April 21 and Hokkaido Nippon Ham shut out Hiroshima for the second day in a row, sending the Carp to their fourth consecutive loss.
Lions 10, Swallows 1
At Seibu Dome, Ginjiro Sumitani went 3-for-4 with two RBIs in a 15-hit onslaught, Kazuyuki Hoashi allowed one unearned run over five innings and Seibu won its fourth straight to move one game above .500 for the first time in nearly a month and half.
Dragons 7, Buffaloes 4
At Kyocera Dome, Chunichi erupted for four runs on six hits to overcome a 2-0 deficit against Park Chan Ho (1-5) in the second inning en route to its third win in a row to move into first place in the Central League.
Yudai Kawai (3-1) gave up three runs — one earned — in five-plus innings and Hitoki Iwase posted his eighth save after inducing a double play by Tomotaka Sakaguchi and getting Michael Hessman to ground out to end it. Takahiro Okada homered twice for Orix.
Hawks 7, BayStars 1
At Yahoo Dome, Nobuhiro Matsuda drove in three runs on 3-for-4 hitting, Tadashi Settsu (4-2) limited the damage to one run over seven strong innings and Softbank extended its undefeated run to 10 games, including two ties.
Giants at Marines — ppd.