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BayStars stave off Giants comeback

Kyodo

Daisuke Miura won a battle of aces, working into the eighth inning behind outstanding run support as the Yokohama BayStars defeated the Central League-leading Yomiuri Giants 10-7 on Tuesday.

Miura (8-9) held the Giants to two runs through the first six innings, but began to tire after his teammates made it 10-2 in the top of the seventh. The 39-year-old right-hander allowed seven runs on 11 hits and two walks in 7⅔ innings.

It was the first time in eight years that Miura won at Tokyo Dome.

Giants ace Tetsuya Utsumi (9-5) allowed five runs on eight hits in five innings. He struck out three without issuing a walk. The lefty entered the game 6-0 in seven starts against the BayStars since he last lost to them, and Miura, on July 4, 2012.

Right-hander Jorge Sosa pitched out of a jam in the ninth to preserve Yokohama’s second straight victory.

Yomiuri captain Shinnosuke Abe put the Giants in front with a two-out, two-run homer in the first. Shuichi Murata, who was honored before the game for winning July’s CL Player of the Month Award, doubled off the wall in left with two outs.

Utsumi didn’t allow a hit until the third, when four pedestrian knocks tied it up. Takayuki Kajitani rolled one under the glove of first baseman Jose Lopez with two outs and runners on second and third, driving in both runners to make it 2-2.

Nyjer Morgan followed with a double, but CL RBI leader Tony Blanco took strike three after hitting Utsumi’s first offering deep and just barely foul.

The BayStars went in front with three runs in the top of the fifth on RBI singles by Takehiro Ishikawa and Morgan, and Blanco added a run-scoring grounder.

Utsumi got out of the inning when a well-hit drive to left was caught, but was pulled for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the inning.

The visitors loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh and poured in five runs against lefty Kyosuke Takagi, featuring a two-run double by Tatsuhiko Kinjo. Miura drove the Giants reliever from the game with a line single to right that made it 10-2.

With two on and two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Murata got three runs back with his 20th home run. Miura stayed in the game until he surrendered solo homers to Yoshinobu Takahashi, his third this year, and John Bowker, his 10th.

Shun Yamaguchi struck out the only batter he faced to end the eighth. Sosa took the mound in the ninth and survived a single and a double to post a scoreless inning and his ninth save.

Carp 2, Tigers 1

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Hiroshima ace Kenta Maeda (10-5) came within one out of a shutout but held on to defeat Hanshin on just three hits. The right-hander walked four and struck out eight over the distance.

Yoshihiro Maru’s 13th home run, a first-inning solo shot off Randy Messenger (10-6), opened the scoring and Yoshikazu Kura’s seventh-inning RBI single tacked on insurance. Katsuhiko Saka broke up the shutout in the ninth with his first home run of the season.

Swallows 2, Dragons 1

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Yakult came from behind to win after being held hitless through five innings by Chunichi’s Kenichi Nakata.

Tetsuto Yamada’s sacrifice fly tied it 1-1 in the fifth, and reserve catcher Yuhei Nakamura won it with an RBI double in the ninth against former CL MVP Takuya Asao (1-1).

Despite nine hits and four walks, the Dragons’ only run came in the first, when CL batting leader Hector Luna opened the scoring with an RBI single. The Swallows’ win was their sixth straight against Chunichi.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Fighters 4, Buffaloes 2

At Asahikawa Starffin Stadium, Hiroshi Kisanuki (8-5) allowed two runs in seven innings to beat the team that traded him away in January as Hokkaido Nippon Ham came from behind to defeat Orix.

Sho Nakata’s 25th home run cut the Buffaloes’ lead in half in the second and he led off the Fighters’ three-run fourth with a single. Kenji Sato singled home the tying run and Takuya Nakashima’s timely hit put the hosts in front for good.

Marines 3, Eagles 0

At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Lotte snapped a five-game losing streak to league-leading Tohoku Rakuten behind the pitching of surprising 32-year-old lefty Takuya Furuya (5-1).

Furuya scattered six hits and two walks over seven innings.

The Marines took a 2-0 lead in the fifth on an RBI double by Takashi Ogino and an RBI single by Yoshifumi Okada. Tatsuya Uchi struck out three of the four batters he faced in the ninth to preserve the shutout and record his first save of the year.

Hawks 9, Lions 5