NAGOYA – The Chunichi Dragons salvaged a last-gasp draw in the first game of a three-game series against Central League-leading Yomiuri on Friday.
The Dragons tied it at 1-1 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth against closer Scott Mathieson on an RBI single by veteran catcher Motonobu Tanishige, and the game ended in a 10-inning tie.
Giants outfielder Tetsuya Matsumoto, the 2009 CL Rookie of the Year, was activated before the game and made an impact in the bottom of the ninth. Matsumoto, who entered as a pinch hitter in the eighth, made a jumping catch at the left-field wall that robbed Masahiko Morino of a leadoff double. Kazuhiro Wada, however, followed with a double and scored when Tanishige singled to center.
Dragons reliever Jorge Sosa pitched out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the top of the 10th to keep Chunichi undefeated at Nagoya Dome since a 3-1 interleague loss to Lotte on May 16.
Giants starter Toshiya Sugiuchi allowed just five hits and a walk over 7 2/3 scoreless innings. Lefty setup man Tetsuya Yamaguchi faced one batter to end the eighth, but Mathieson failed to close it out in the ninth.
Dragons right-hander Kenshin Kawakami, starting for the first time since April 7, when he was hit in the lower back by a batted ball, allowed a run in five innings.
Yomiuri took the lead against Kawakami in the fourth after singles by Shinnosuke Abe and Yoshinobu Takahashi. With one out and runners on the corners, Edgar Gonzalez did the honors with an RBI single.
Carp 12, BayStars 4
At Yokohama Stadium, Hiroshima catcher Yoshiyuki Ishihara erased a one-run deficit with a second-inning grand slam as the Carp clobbered Yokohama and equaled their season high for runs scored.
Bryan Bullington (5-9) allowed three runs in five innings on six hits, three walks and a hit batsman, but it was good enough for the right-hander to win his second straight start.
Swallows at Tigers — ppd.
Eagles 5, Fighters 1
At Sendai’s Kleenex Stadium, Tohoku Rakuten ace Masahiro Tanaka (6-2) scattered eight hits over eight shutout innings, while striking out 13 without a walk to beat Hokkaido Nippon Ham and win his third straight start. The third-place Eagles moved to within a half game of the second-place Fighters.
Shintaro Masuda broke the ice with a third-inning sacrifice fly off Nippon Ham right-hander Yuki Saito (5-7), who walked six batters and hit one. Kazuo Matsui iced the game in the sixth with a two-out, two-run double.
Hawks 4, Marines 3 (10)
At Fukuoka’s Yahoo Dome, Softbank’s Kenji Akashi, named to an All-Star roster for the first time in his career earlier in the day, went 3-for-5 and scored the winning run in the 10th as the Hawks beat league-leading Chiba Lotte on Nobuhiro Matsuda’s sayonara single.
The Marines rallied to tie it in the eighth against reliever Takahito Kanazawa on an RBI double by Saburo Omura and a sacrifice fly by Toshiaki Imae.
Lions at Buffaloes — ppd.