YONAGO, TOTTORI PREFECTURE – Mauro Gomez’s ninth-inning RBI double proved decisive as the Hanshin Tigers moved back within three games of the first-place Hiroshima Carp with a 4-3 victory in the Central League on Wednesday.
With two outs in the top of the ninth at Doradora Park, Gomez drove in Takashi Toritani to make it a 4-2 game.
Hiroshima closed within one run in the bottom half with Kila Ka’aihue’s one-out solo shot off Oh Seung-hwan, but the South Korean closer sealed the win by getting pinch hitters Ryuhei Matsuyama and Kosuke Tanaka to pop up.
Minoru Iwata, who allowed two earned runs on seven hits and two walks in eight innings, won his third straight start to improve to 3-0 on the year. Oh collected his ninth save.
Matt Murton hit his seventh home run in the fourth off the Carp’s Junpei Ono (0-1), who gave up three earned runs on four hits and four free passes.
Swallows 10, Giants 3
At Ibaraki Prefecture’s Hitachinaka Stadium, Wladimir Balentien homered for the third straight game, hitting a two-out grand slam in the fourth inning for his Japanese baseball-best 15th roundtripper as Tokyo Yakult beat Yomiuri.
The Swallows climbed out of last place. The Giants, who lost their third straight, deactivated Leslie Anderson before the game with a right thigh injury he suffered on Tuesday.
Dragons 7, BayStars 2
At Yokohama Stadium, Chunichi rolled to its third consecutive victory behind seven solid innings from Yudai Ono (1-3), who held Yokohama to two earned runs, scattering eight hits.
Buffaloes 8, Eagles 4
At Sendai’s Kobo Stadium Miyagi, Orix chased Tohoku Rakuten starter Yudai Mori (2-3) in the third inning to move to 8-0 on the year against the Japan Series champions.
Marines 3, Hawks 2 (11)
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Takashi Ogino singled home the game-winning run with two outs in the 11th for his first career walk-off hit as Chiba Lotte denied first-place Fukuoka Softbank a fourth straight victory.