YOKOHAMA – Right-hander Shun Yamaguchi held Central League-leading Yomiuri Giants to an unearned run over six innings, and veteran Hitoshi Tamura hit a two-run homer on Wednesday as the Yokohama BayStars beat the Giants 6-2.
Yamaguchi (4-3), the BayStars former closer, allowed four hits and a walk, while striking out two before a crowd of 28,186 at Yokohama Stadium. Yamaguchi, who was thrust into the starting rotation in June, won three straight starts and pitcher of the month honors, won for the first time since June 15.
“I was just thinking about pitching so the team could win,” said Yamaguchi. “It was a good thing I could shut them down after being given a lead and having some good plays made behind me. I was given the ball while we are on a roll and am glad we could win. I’m also glad it didn’t go to extra innings, because my last three starts all went to extra innings.”
Giants veteran Toshiya Sugiuchi (7-4) was unable to do anything against the BayStars. The lefty surrendered five runs on 12 hits, while striking out seven.
The 37-year-old Tamura opened the scoring with his second homer of the season, while 21-year-old rookie Masayuki Kuwahara singled in another in Yokohama’s three-run second inning.
Tamura and Aarom Baldiris, who was on base when his ball left the park, each had three of the BayStars’ 15 hits.
“Baldiris was on base ahead of me and I was just trying to set the table for the guys behind me,” Tamura said. “With that frame of mind, the ball got out. The wind was blowing pretty good, so I didn’t have to hit it that hard.”
The Giants’ loss was their third straight
Dragons 3, Carp 2
At Nagoya Dome, Chunichi’s playing manager Motonobu Tanishige broke a 2-2 tie with a two-out RBI single, while Hiroshima’s Bryan Bullington (8-8) allowed three runs in seven innings to take the loss.
Swallows 7, Tigers 6
At Jingu Stadium, Shingo Kawabata and Yuhei Takai each had three of their team’s 14 hits as Tokyo Yakult beat Hanshin and tied a team record with 10 or more hits in seven straight games.
Tetsuto Yamada broke a 3-3 tie in the sixth with an RBI double and the Swallows held on for a narrow victory with Tony Barnette striking out Mauro Gomez to nail down his fourth save.
Buffaloes 5, Fighters 2
At Obihiro no Mori Stadium, rookie right-hander Kazumasa Yoshida (5-1) allowed two runs in 5-1/3 innings, and four relievers kept host Hokkaido Nippon Ham off the board over the final three innings.
Fighters rookie Naoyuki Uwasawa (7-6) allowed four runs over 5-1/3 innings to take the loss.
Hawks 8, Lions 1
At Seibu Dome, right-hander Shota Takeda (1-0) threw five scoreless innings in his belated season debut, and league-leading Fukuoka Softbank scored early and often to beat Seibu and claim its fourth straight victory.
Marines 8, Eagles 7
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Ryohei Kawamoto singled in the winning run to cap a six-run ninth-inning rally as Chiba Lotte overcame a five-run deficit to beat Tohoku Rakuten.
Eagles closer Brian Falkenborg (1-3), who is battling laryngitis, retired just one of the five batters he faced in the ninth.