Hiroyasu Tanaka had a pair of RBI singles and Kyohei Muranaka pitched his second complete game of the season as the Tokyo Yakult Swallows beat the Yomiuri Giants 4-2 on Friday.
Tanaka followed a tying triple by Norichika Aoki with his second RBI single of the night in the fifth inning to give Yakult the lead for good at 3-2, helping the Swallows take the opener of a three-game set against the second-place Giants at Jingu Stadium to increase their Central League lead to three games.
Kazuhiro Hatakeyama doubled in an insurance run in the eighth.
Muranaka (3-4) held Yomiuri to just four hits, including a two-run homer by Alex Ramirez in the second. The left-hander retired the final 16 batters after allowing a two-out single to Takayuki Terauchi in the fourth.
Rookie Hirokazu Sawamura (6-11) was charged with three runs, two earned, and four hits in six innings.
The Swallows secured a winning record against Yomiuri for the first time in 11 years, having improved to 11-6 with four ties.
BayStars at Tigers — ppd. Dragons at Carp — ppd.
Lions 5, Hawks 3
At Seibu Dome, Takeya Nakamura broke a fifth-inning tie with a two-run blast, his Japanese baseball-leading 35th homer of the season, as Seibu beat Fukuoka Softbank.
Kazuyuki Hoashi (7-5) allowed three runs in eight innings for Seibu. Toshiya Sugiuchi (7-6) lost his third straight start, giving up four runs in six innings.
The Hawks have lost four games in a row for the first time this season.
Buffaloes 3, Fighters 2
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Mitsutaka Goto doubled in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning as Orix edged Hokkaido Nippon Ham for its fifth straight victory.
Yuki Nishi (8-5) threw seven innings of two-run ball and Mamoru Kishida picked up his 25th save.
Bobby Keppel (10-5) took the loss.
Eagles 6, Marines 3
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Luic Garcia hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning as Tohoku Rakuten handed Chiba Lotte its third consecutive loss.
McCourt receives bid
Los Angeles AP
Frank McCourt has been offered $1.2 billion for the Los Angeles Dodgers in a bid that would get funding from Chinese government-owned investment banks, according to the contents of a letter disclosed to the Los Angeles Times.
The bid to buy the team out of bankruptcy was being headed by Los Angeles Marathon founder Bill Burke, the Times reported Thursday, citing two people familiar with the letter but not authorized to discuss it publicly.
The bid terms call for an all-cash payment to buy the Dodgers, all real estate related to the team and the team’s media rights.