Hisayoshi Chono delivered a two-run, ninth-inning double to lift the Yomiuri Giants to 5-4 walk-off interleague win over the Chiba Lotte Marines on Wednesday.
The Giants, who last year became the first Central League team to win the annual interleague championship, blew a 3-0 lead for the second straight night, but this time managed to battle back to earn a split with the Pacific League leaders.
Soichiro Tateoka’s first career hit put runners on the corners with no outs against Marines closer Naoya Masuda (1-2) before Chono drove a ball into the gap in left center. Tateoka, the Giants’ second-round draft pick in 2008, sped around the bases to score the winning run.
“On that kind of hit, my game allows me to make it home,” said the speedster, who reached on an infield single. When I was batting, I just wanted to put a good swing on the ball.”
Chono, who has slumped since he began the season playing for Japan in the World Baseball Classic, hit the third pitch he saw from Masuda.
“I was looking for a good pitch to drive and I got one,” he said.
The Giants scored three runs in five innings against their former teammate, right-hander Seth Greisinger, but the Marines took the lead in a four-run sixth off Giants right-hander Hirokazu Sawamura, who went seven innings.
Light-hitting infielder Shunichi Nemoto capped the Marines’ big comeback with a ball that landed just fair in left for a three-run, opposite-field homer.
Lions 9, Swallows 3
At Jingu Stadium, Hideto Asamura led off the game with a homer, scored twice and drove in two runs, while submarine right-hander Kazuhisa Makita (4-2) worked seven innings in Seibu’s second straight win over Tokyo Yakult.
Ryo Sakata went 4-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs for the Lions, who scored three runs in three innings against Takeaki Tokuyama (0-1) in his pro debut as Yakult lost a season-worst sixth-straight game.
Dragons 4, Fighters 2
At Nagoya Dome, Chunichi lefty Masahiro Yamamoto (2-0) extended his Nippon Professional Baseball record as the oldest starting pitcher to earn a win, allowing two runs in five-plus innings at the age of 47 years, nine months in a victory over Hokkaido Nippon Ham.
Kazuhiro Wada’s third-inning single broke a 1-1 tie, and Matt Clark belted his fourth homer of the season for the Dragons, a two-run shot in the fifth.
Buffaloes 9, Tigers 2
At Koshien Stadium, Takahiro Matsuba, Orix’s top draft pick last fall, allowed two runs in six wins to improve to 2-0, while Aarom Baldiris came back to torment his former club as the Buffaloes beat Hanshin for the second straight night in their Kansai derby.
The 30-year-old Baldiris, whom the Tigers released after he was named their minor league player of the year in 2009, went 2-for-3 with a home run, two runs scored and three RBIs. Hanshin reliver Naoto Tsuru was ejected in the fifth for hitting Baldiris with a pitch. Vinnie Rottino and Lee Dae Ho each hit a two-run homer for the Buffaloes.
Eagles 7, BayStars 5
At Yokohama Stadium, Andruw Jones doubled to lead off the third inning and scored the tie-breaking run on a wild pitch. Former Milwaukee Brewer Casey McGehee also singled and scored in the inning as Tohoku Rakuten beat Yokohama for the second straight night.
Kazuya Fujita, who was traded to Rakuten last season, went 3-for-4 against his former team, tying the game with a first-inning RBI single and helping to ice it with another in the sixth.
Carp 2, Hawks 0
At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, right-hander Kan Otake (4-1) scattered five hits and two walks over 6⅔ innings and three relievers pitched hitless ball to complete the shutout as Hiroshima won its third straight game.
Otake issued two walks in the top of the first, but pitched out of a bases-loaded jam, and the Carp took the lead in the home half on Takahiro Iwamoto’s sacrifice fly. Fred Lewis led off the second with his second homer of the season.