Pinch hitter Michihiro Ogasawara finally got on target with the powerful swing he was once feared for.
Ogasawara hit a walk-off three-run homer against reliever Hirotoshi Masui (0-2) in the 11th inning, lifting the Yomiuri Giants to a 4-1 interleague win over the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters on Wednesday.
It was his first homer since Aug. 19, 2011 and the third walk-off homer of his career.
Hayato Sakamoto led off the inning with a single to right followed by Shinnosuke Abe’s single down the right-field line, setting the stage for Ogasawara’s heroics. He drilled the eighth pitch he saw — a 149-kph fastball — from the right-hander over the right-field wall at Tokyo Dome.
It was the teams’ first match-up at the Big Egg since the Giants beat the Fighters in Game 6 to decide the 2012 Japan Series, and Yomiuri threw salt in the wound with another win against its Pacific League rival.
Daikan Yoh hit a one-out solo homer in the third, but Yoshiyuki Kamei hit a two-out RBI single that brought home pinch-runner Soichiro Tateoka from second to tie it 1-all in the eighth.
Eighteen-year-old Shohei Otani, the Fighters’ No. 1 draft pick, played in right and went 0-for-5.
Tigers 3, Lions 2
At Kurashiki, Tsuyoshi Nishioka hit a game-winning RBI single in the ninth inning, lifting Hanshin over Seibu.
Ryota Arai led off the decisive inning with a triple off the wall in right and Nishioka lined a one-out single with runners at the corners off Tatsuya Oishi (0-4) to end it. Yuya Ando (2-0) pitched two scoreless innings in relief for the win.
Hawks 2, BayStars 0
At Yokohama Stadium, Kazuyuki Hoashi threw seven scoreless innings on three-hit ball to lead Softbank in a shutout of Yokohama.
Hoashi (4-1), who relied heavily on a devastating breaking ball, struck out five and walked three. Sho Iwasaki picked up his second save. Nobuhiro Matsuda and Akira Nakamura hit RBI singles in the fourth and sixth, respectively, off BayStars ace Daisuke Miura (3-5).
Swallows 9, Eagles 5
At Jingu Stadium, catcher Ryoji Aikawa hit a two-run homer to spark an eight-run uprising in the sixth inning, featuring Lastings Milledge’s grand slam, as last-place Tokyo Yakult sent 13 batters to the plate to overcome a 4-1 deficit and beat Tohoku Rakuten.
The Swallows’ 17 hits marked a season high. Casey McGehee hit a three-run home run to key a four-run first, but the Rakuten bullpen crumbled as Yakult took the lead.
Dragons 4, Buffaloes 3
Marines 5, Carp 3