CHIBA – Tomoya Satozaki’s two-out, ninth-inning double plated pinch runner Yoshifumi Okada with the tying run as the Chiba Lotte Marines salvaged a dramatic draw on Sunday.
Having blown a three-run lead to Hanshin, Satozaki’s double made it 6-6 and the 4-hour, 2-minute game was declared a tie after Tigers closer Kyuji Fujikawa got the final three outs out of the ninth.
The draw, the Marines’ seventh of the season, saw them increase their Pacific League lead to 1 1/2 games over the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters. Lotte is 0-3 with two ties since it last won on June 10.
Shunichi Nemoto broke the ice in a scoreless pitchers’ duel with a solo homer in the third off Tigers starter Atsushi Nomi.
Nomi allowed four runs on 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings. The lefty struck out four and walked one, but the one walk came with the bases loaded in the fifth to push across the Marines’ second run.
Three singles loaded the bases with two outs, and Nomi pitched too carefully to Tadahito Iguchi and lost him on four straight balls, making it a 2-0 game.
The Tigers closed to within a run in the top of the sixth, a two-out single by Takahiro Arai that plated Ryo Asai from second.
The Marines chased Nomi in the bottom half, when they again loaded the bases on three singles. With one out and the bags juiced, Ikuhiro Kiyota doubled over the head of center fielder Yamato Maeda to bring home two runs.
When the Marines tried to squeeze home another run on a 1-0 pitch, Hanshin pitched out and Satozaki was run down and tagged out 2-5.
Ace Yoshihisa Naruse lasted six-plus innings, leaving after his fifth pitch of the seventh left the park off the bat of Ryota Arai, the younger brother of the Tigers’ third baseman and No. 5 hitter.
“Since we were in the middle of a losing streak, I went to the mound intent on not surrendering the first run. Runners kept getting on, but I think I was able to pitch really tough when we needed it most,” said Naruse, whose streak of consecutive winning starts was snapped at six. “But there’s no excuse for letting them score after we put more runs on the board.”
Right-hander Naoya Masuda got a pair of quick outs, but three straight Tigers’ singles reduced Lotte’s lead to a run. Masuda stayed in to pitch the top of the eighth and got the first out but no more. Three straight singles saw Tatsuya Uchi enter the game only to give up three more.
Ryota Imanari’s one-out bases-loaded single off Uchi brought in one run, and an error on Kiyota in right tied it 5-5.
Keiichi Hirano’s single made it 6-5 and gave the visitors their first lead.
Tigers lefty Daiki Enokida pitched out of a jam in the eighth to preserve the lead, but Fujikawa failed to protect it, allowing a leadoff single to Katsuya Kakunaka.
Hanshin outfielder Asai left the game on a stretcher in the bottom of the ninth after he collided with second baseman Hirano on a pop fly that was caught for the second out by the infielder.
Eagles 2, Giants 1
At Sendai’s Kleenex Stadium, Luis Garcia hit a two-run homer in the first inning off Toshiya Sugiuchi (8-2) and 18-year-old Tohoku Rakuten rookie Yoshinao Kamata made his fourth straight impressive start.
Kamata (3-0) limited the damage to one run and five hits in his career first complete game. He struck out five and walked one for Rakuten, which saw its losing streak end at three games.
Swallows 3, Fighters 2
At Sapporo Dome, Wladimir Balentien spoiled lefty Masaru Takeda’s (4-3) bid for a shutout with a two-out, three-run homer in the ninth.
Tokyo Yakult ace Masanori Ishikawa (5-6) worked 8 1/3 innings, while Tony Barnette retired two batters with the tying run on base to record his 16th save.
Hawks 1, BayStars 0
At Fukuoka’s Yahoo Dome, a day after losing 1-0 to Yokohama, Fukuoka Softbank returned the favor as Shota Oba (2-0) and four relievers combined on a four-hit shutout of the BayStars.
Oba threw six scoreless innings to win his second straight start, while Yokohama ace Daisuke Miura (6-3) scattered seven hits and a walk in an eight-inning, complete-game defeat.
Dragons 3, Buffaloes 2
At Osakia’s Kyocera Dome, Chunichi’s Kazuki Yoshimi (4-2) allowed a run over eight innings, and closer Hitoki Iwase allowed a run in the ninth but recorded his 22nd save.
Shuhei Takahashi, the Dragons’ first-round draft pick last autumn, broke a 1-1 tie in the eighth, when he led off with his first career homer off Orix starter Hayato Terahara (2-5) and Kazuhiro Wada followed with a two-out solo blast off the right-hander.
Carp 11, Lions 4
At Seibu Dome, Hiroshima right-hander Kan Otake (6-2) pitched five scoreless innings, while the Carp battered six Seibu pitchers for 14 hits.
Soichiro Amaya opened the game with a homer against Takayuki Kishi (6-6) in a game that was locked in a 1-0 pitching duel through five innings.