/

Error sends Lions to loss against Giants

by David Hueston and Dave Hueston

Kyodo

Shinnosuke Abe hit a game-tying homer to lead off the sixth inning, and the go-ahead run scored on an error by Hideto Asamura in the 10th inning as the Yomiuri Giants beat the Seibu Lions 2-1 in a walk-off in their interleague game on Saturday night.

Tomoyuki Sugano and Takayuki Kishi settled down into a pitching duel, but the Giants rookie outlasted the Lions right-hander to go nine innings in front of 44,300 fans at Tokyo Dome.

Sugano struck out 12, allowed six hits and walked two in a 136-pitch outing. The 23-year-old pumped his fist when he got pinch hitter Yasuyuki Kataoka looking at a slider for the third strike in a 10-pitch at-bat to escape a two-on jam in the ninth.

The Giants had the chance to draw first blood when they put runners on first and second with two outs in the second, but Kishi got out of the jam on a comebacker by Daisuke Fujimura.

Seibu struck in the fourth. Sugano issued a one-out walk to Shogo Akiyama and Takumi Kuriyama’s single to right. With runners at the corners, Jose Ortiz then singled into the gap in left to drive in the opening run before Sugano induced an inning-ending double play.

The wheels appeared to be slipping off for Kishi in the bottom half of the inning, when he loaded the bases with one out on three consecutive singles. But the right-hander calmly fanned Shuichi Murata swinging at a high fastball, then finished off with a strikeout of pinch hitter Michihiro Ogasawara, who was activated the same day.

Abe teed off on a 2-2 changeup down the pipe, sending a scorcher over the left-field wall — his 12th homer of the season — in the home half of the sixth. Jose Lopez followed with a double to right-center, and Yoshiyuki Kamei laid a perfect bunt down the right-field line to move the runner to third.

That ended the night for Kishi, who yielded one run on seven hits in 5⅓ innings. He struck out six and walked one. Reliever Ken Togame struck out Murata and Tetsuya Matsumoto flied out, shortstop Asamura making a spectacular diving catch to end the threat.

Buffaloes, 2, Carp 1

At Mazda Stadium, Tomotaka Sakaguchi and Takayoshi Kawabata both homered in support of Chihiro Kaneko, who went 8⅓ innings on one-run ball in Orix’s interleague win over Hiroshima.

Kaneko (4-3) scattered four hits and three walks, while striking out eight. Sakaguchi and Kawabata went deep in the first and eighth, respectively. Bryan Bullington (2-4) took the loss for Hiroshima, which saw its winning streak snapped at four games.

Dragons 7, Eagles 2

At Nagoya Dome, Kazuhiro Wada put his team in the driver’s seat with a go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh inning and made an encore performance with a three-run blast, both off rookie right-hander Takahiro Norimoto (3-3), in the eighth as Chunichi routed Tohoku Rakuten to win four straight for the first time this season.

Toshiya Okada (2-1) threw two scoreless innings for the win. Ginji Akaminai went 4-for-5 and scored both Rakuten runs.

Tigers 9, Hawks 5

At Koshien Stadium, the Tigers took advantage of a five-run first, featuring Ryota Arai’s grand slam, Takashi Toritani went 2-for-5 with three RBIs including a two-run homer, and Hanshin held off Fukuoka Softbank to end a three-game losing skid.

Naoto Tsuru (2-0) got the win in relief. Tadashi Settsu (4-2) was chased after yielding six runs — one unearned — on eight hits and a walk in three innings for Softbank, which had four homers, including a pair of solo shots by Seiichi Uchikawa.

BayStars 8, Fighters, 4

At Yokohama Stadium, Noriharu Yamazaki hit a go-ahead three-run double off lefty Yuya Ishii (2-2) and Yokohama piled on more damage in a five-run eighth to beat Hokkaido Nippon Ham and send the Fighters to their 10 loss in 11 games.

Tony Blanco hit his Japanese-baseball leading 20th homer, a game-tying three-run dinger in the sixth for Yokohama, which ended its losing streak at five games.

Swallows 5, Marines 3