OSAKA – Yoshio Itoi broke open a scoreless game with a solo homer in a three-run fourth-inning and the Orix Buffaloes held on to beat the Seibu Lions 3-2 for their sixth straight win on Sunday.
Before 30,997 at Kyocera Dome, the Pacific League-leading Buffaloes were kept under wraps by Lions right-hander Greg Reynolds for 3-1/3 innings before Itoi blasted his second homer of the year. After a walk to Wily Mo Pena, the Buffaloes added more runs on Tomotaka Sakaguchi’s two-out triple and a single by former big leaguer Yuniesky Betancourt. It was Betancourt’s first RBI in Japan.
“That (Betancourt’s hit) was huge,” manager Hiroshi Moriwaki said. “It was so important that we got our offense restarted after the home run.”
Right-hander Motoki Higa (1-0) worked 1-1/3 innings of scoreless relief to earn the victory. Orix rookie Kazumasa Yoshida started but left the mound after allowing a run in 4-2/3 innings in his pro debut. Yoshihisa Hirano, Orix’s fifth pitcher, worked a scoreless ninth to register his fourth save.
Shogo Akiyama and Hideto Asamura, each had RBI singles for the Lions, who lost their third in a row.
Eagles 3, Hawks 2
At Sendai’s Kobo Stadium, Ginji Akaminai delivered a tie-breaking RBI single in the eighth inning as Tohoku Rakuten downed Fukuoka Softbank.
The Hawks tied the game in the top of the inning on Tomoaki Egawa’s pinch-hit home run, but the Eagles set up the winning score with singles by Takero Okajima and Kazuya Fujita
Marines 7, Fighters 1
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, top Chiba Lotte draft pick Ayumu Ishikawa (1-0) threw a three-hitter and Ikuhiro Kiyota homered twice, doubled and drove in five runs as the Marines completed a three-game sweep of Hokkaido Nippon Ham.
Carp 1, BayStars 0
At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Hiroshima ace Kenta Maeda (1-0) allowed five hits in eight innings, and the Carp defeated Yokohama by scoring in their one chance against Guillermo Moscoso (0-1).
The former big leaguer allowed an unearned run on four hits and two walks over six innings, but took the loss.
Tigers 15, Swallows 8
At Jingu Stadium, Matt Murton’s three-run, eighth-inning home run capped a six-run inning and broke an 8-8 tie as Hanshin came from behind to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of Tokyo Yakult. Murton went 4-for-5 with an RBI single a day after he homered twice and drove in seven runs in a losing effort.
Dragons 4, Giants 3
At Nagoya Dome, Ryosuke Hirata hit a two-run homer, Hector Luna delivered a two-run double, and Daniel Cabrera (2-0) allowed two runs in seven innings as Chunichi came from behind to beat Yomiuri and snap the Giants’ six-game winning streak.