Yomiuri’s Hisayoshi Chono doubled and scored the tying run in the bottom of the 10th inning on Hayato Sakamoto’s single off Tokyo Yakult closer Tony Barnette as the Giants and Swallows played to a 3-3 tie on Sunday.
The Swallows had taken a 3-2 lead in the top of the inning at Tokyo Dome on Lastings Milledge’s solo homer off Giants right-hander Kentaro Nishimura at Tokyo Dome. The home run was Milledge’s eighth.
But Barnette, the Swallows’ third pitcher after starter Masanori Ishikawa went eight and lefty Ryo Hidaka worked the ninth, had trouble locating and surrendered a leadoff double to Chono on a 3-2 pitch.
After a sacrifice, Sakamoto poked a tough full-count pitch up the middle for a tied ballgame. With no extra inning allowed to start more than 3½ hours after the start of the game, the contest was called after 11 innings.
“We came back well. It would have been interesting to see how it would have ended had we been able to play to a decision,” Giants manager Tatsunori Hara said. “Was it a good tie? A tie is just a tie.”
Scott Mathieson retired the Swallows in order in the top of the 11th, while a trio of Swallows relievers preserved the tie in the bottom of the inning.
Chono drew the game’s first blood in the bottom of the third with a one-out solo homer off lefty Ishikawa. Giants southpaw Toshiya Sugiuchi got two quick outs in the top of the fourth before the Swallows’ Shinya Miyamoto reached the seats for the second time this season to tie it 1-1.
The Swallows, who had at least one runner in each of the first five innings, took the lead in the fifth, featuring Shingo Kawabata’s tiebreaking one-out single.
Giants left fielder Yoshitomo Tani threw out Hiroyasu Tanaka, who was issued a walk, trying for third to limit the damage. Sugiuchi then ended the threat by getting cleanup hitter Kazuhiro Hatakeyama on a harmless fly to center.
In the sixth inning, however, Sugiuchi retired the Swallows in order for the first time all day and his batterymate Shinnosuke Abe tied it with a two-out homer, his 10th of the season.
Sugiuchi left the game for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the seventh after Tani second’s hit of the day. Two runners were stranded when Ryuichi Kajimae, a hero off the bench in Saturday’s 7-4 victory over the Swallows, struck out swinging.
Ishikawa allowed six hits and three walks, while striking out five. Sugiuchi, whose fastball lacked its usual movement, scattered nine hits in seven innings. He struck out four and walked one.
Dragons 5, Carp 4
At Ishikawa Prefectural Stadium, four Chunichi relievers held down Hiroshima on two hits for 5⅓ innings as the Dragons held on to beat the Carp. Lefty Hitoki Iwase worked the ninth for his 23rd save of the season and the 336th of his career.
Tony Blanco hit a two-run homer in the first and had an RBI double in the third. The Carp, however, tied it 4-4 in the fourth as Masato Akamatsu keyed a four-run rally with a two-run homer. Kazuhiro Wada’s RBI double put Chunichi ahead for good in the fifth.
Tigers 5, BayStars 2
At Koshien Stadium, Yuya Ando (3-4) threw two-run ball over 8⅓ effective innings, and Hanshin built an early lead en route to beating Yokohama.
Matt Murton led off the Tigers’ three-run first inning with a home run, while Tomoaki Kanemoto and Craig Brazell tacked on two-out RBI singles. Daisuke Miura (6-4) got tagged for five runs in six innings of work.
Fighters 6, Hawks 0
At Yahoo Dome, Fukuoka Softbank’s Hiroki Kokubo recorded his 2,000th career hit on the same day he was activated after missing a month with back trouble, but the Hawks hero’s milestone was overshadowed by the exploits of Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s Brian Wolfe and Sho Nakata.
Wolfe (5-4) allowed four hits and walked two over seven innings and a pair of relievers completed the four-hit shutout. Nakata went 2-for-3 with a walk, a sacrifice fly, two runs and two RBIs.
Lions 4, Buffaloes 3
At Seibu Dome, Orix reliever Yoshihisa Hirano (3-3) spoiled a strong start by Hayato Terahara, surrendering three runs in one-third of an inning as Seibu took the lead in the eighth on Yutaro Osaki’s three-run double.
Right-hander Ken Togame (1-0), Seibu’s first-round draft pick last autumn, allowed one single over two innings for his first career win, while Lions ace Hideaki Wakui surrendered a run in the top of the ninth but held on to record his fourth save.
Marines 4, Eagles 4 (11)
At Kleenex Stadium, Saburo Omura broke a 3-3 tie in the top of the ninth inning with an RBI single off Tohoku Rakuten reliever Darrell Rasner. The Eagles, however, rallied for a run in the bottom of the inning, and a game ended in an 11-inning tie.
Interleague batting champion Katsuya Kakunaka drove in a run in each of his first two at-bats as Chiba Lotte became the first team to score more than a run on 18-year-old right-hander Yoshinao Kamata since he surrendered three runs in three innings in his pro debut on May 20.