SAPPORO – Yasuyuki Kataoka singled in the winning run in the top of the 10th inning as the Yomiuri Giants beat the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 2-1 in interleague action on Wednesday.
The Giants scored one run off double-duty Shohei Otani, who hit 160 kph on the radar gun for the second straight game. The right-hander allowed four hits and two walks, while striking out six before leaving with a leg cramp after 6⅓ innings. Otani, who also plays right field for the Fighters, batted seventh and went 0-for-2.
Juan Miranda tied it in the bottom of the seventh with a solo homer off Giants starter Kan Otake, who also allowed one run in 6⅓ innings.
Luis Lopez got things started in the 10th inning against Fighters closer Hirotoshi Masui (3-4) with a one-out single. A force out moved pinch runner Tetsuya Matsumoto to third. With two outs and runners on the corners, Masui left a 1-0 slider up in the zone and Kataoka slapped it between third and short to plate the go-ahead run.
“I figured they’d pitch to me, and wanted to be aggressive if I got a fat pitch,” Kataoka said. “I wasn’t trying to do too much, just keep things going.”
A big defensive play in the bottom of the 10th helped seal the game for the Giants. Miranda opened the inning against lefty relief star Tetsuya Yamaguchi by pounding a low-liner toward right, but first baseman Daisuke Nakai intercepted it with a sparkling catch for the first out.
Swallows 1, Eagles 0
At Sendai’s Kobo Stadium Miyagi, lefty Masanori Ishikawa (4-4) never let an opposing batter get as far as third base as he tossed a four-hitter for his second shutout of the season. Tokyo Yakult scored the decisive run in the first inning, when Tetsuto Yamada belted a leadoff homer off Rakuten starter Takashi Kawai (1-4).
Dragons 7, Hawks 4
At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Masahiko Morino’s two-out, bases-loaded double drove in three runs in the seventh inning as Chunichi came from behind to beat Softbank and snap a 13-game losing streak in interleague games at the Hawks’ home park.
Buffaloes 8, BayStars 5
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Yuki Nishi (9-2) allowed one run in six innings, and Shunta Goto iced the game for Pacific League-leading Orix with a pinch-hit grand slam in the bottom of the eighth.
Yokohama’s Cuban infielder Yuliesky Gurriel hit his first homer in Japan in the top of the eighth inning.
Marines 8, Tigers 3
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Toshiaki Imae’s two-run double highlighted a three-run third inning off Hanshin youngster Shintaro Fujinami (4-4), while Lotte starter Takahiro Fujioka (4-2) allowed three hits in seven scoreless innings to collect the win.