CHIBA – Katsuya Kakunaka hit a tiebreaking single with two outs in the sixth inning as the surging Chiba Lotte Marines went on to beat the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks 3-2 on Sunday.
Kazuya Fukuura and Shoitsu Omatsu had RBI doubles down the right-field line in the second before Softbank designated-hitter Wily Mo Pena hit a two-run homer to tie the game in the fifth. Kakunaka then singled to center to drive home Toshiaki Imae from second, giving Lotte the lead for good at QVC Marine Field.
“I got a good swing on the pitch,” said Kakunaka, who was the hero for the second day in a row after hitting a walkoff sacrifice fly in the 11th inning in Saturday’s game.
Kakunaka, who began the season on the farm team before being called up and is batting fifth in the lineup, has six RBIs in his last nine games.
“This is the first time this year that I was able to have a really good read on a pitch,” he said.
Shingo Ono (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings to get the win in relief, and Yasuhiko Yabuta worked the ninth for his 11th save. Softbank outhit Lotte 14-5 but stranded 15 runners and dropped three in a row for the first time this season.
Eagles 4, Buffaloes 1
At Kyocera Dome, pinch hitter Yosuke Takasu broke a 1-1 tie with an RBI single and Ginji Akaminai hit a two-run single in a three-run eighth inning as Tohoku Rakuten downed Orix to win its fifth straight and moved above .500 for the first time since May 5.
Manabu Mima (1-1) pitched one-run ball over seven innings and Koji Aoyama posted his fifth save. Orix, which is on a four-game losing skid, fell into last place.
Lions 4, Fighters 3
At Ocean Stadium in Hakodate, Fumiya Nishiguchi (1-1) limited the damage to three runs in 6⅓ innings and Seibu scraped by Masaru Takeda (4-1) and Hokkaido Nippon Ham to claw its way out of last place.
Takeya Nakamura opened the scoring with a run-scoring single in the fourth and Esteban German added a two-run single in a three-run sixth for the Lions. Hideaki Wakui closed out the ninth for his first career save.
Giants 5, Swallows 1
At Komachi Stadium in Akita, Hirokazu Sawamura went seven scoreless innings and Yomiuri broke open a close ballgame with a three-run ninth to win its third in a row to move to .500 for the first time this season.
Sawamura (3-3) scattered six hits and walked two and did not allow a runner to reach third base. Shohei Tateyama (3-2) took the loss.
Tigers 8, BayStars 3
At Yokohama Stadium, Craig Brazell hit a two-run double in a four-run first inning and Hanshin built a 6-0 lead in the first two innings en route to defeating the BayStars.
Randy Messenger (3-2) yielded three unearned runs and seven hits in six innings for the win. Yuki Kuniyoshi (1-4) was roughed up for six runs in 1⅔ innings and walked six batters.
Dragons 6, Carp 6 (9)
At Mazda Stadium, Yohei Oshima went 3-for-4 with a homer and Masahiro Araki also had three hits for Chunichi, but Hiroshima tied the game on Nick Stavinoha’s RBI single in the eighth inning.
Eishin Soyogi hit a three-run homer in Hiroshima’s four-run second.