OSAKA – Veteran pinch hitter Hiroshi Yagi drove in the game-winning run on a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the eighth inning and rookie reliever Yuya Kubo let another run score on a wild pitch as the Hanshin Tigers downed the Yomiuri Giants 8-6 in the Central League on Tuesday night.
The Tigers took an early 3-0 lead through the third in front of 53,000 at Koshien Stadium but Roberto Petagine’s grand slam — his 10th — in the sixth gave the Giants a one-run lead before Hanshin tied the game 5-5 in the bottom of the frame.
After the Giants went up 6-5 in the seventh, Akihiro Yano leveled the game with a run-scoring single with two out in the eighth.
Yuya Ando (1-0), Hanshin’s fifth pitcher of night, got two outs for the win and Jeff Williams closed out the ninth for his seventh save. Tomoaki Kanemoto went 3-for-4 with three RBIs.
Swallows 2, BayStars 1 (10)
At Jingu Stadium, Atsuya Furuta drove in the go-ahead run when he was hit by a pitch thrown by Denny Tomori (0-1) with the bases loaded in the 10th inning, handing Yakult a win over Yokohama for its first walk-off victory of the season.
Carp 4, Dragons 3
At Hiroshima Stadium, Koichi Ogata singled home the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning, pacing the Carp over Chunichi for their third “sayonara” victory of the season. PACIFIC LEAGUE
Marines 6, Fighters 2
At Tokyo Dome, Jose Fernandez hit a pair of two-run homers to power Lotte over Nippon Ham, lifting Brian Sikorski to his first win in Japan after seven solid innings of five-hit ball.
Fernandez put the visitors aboard in the second, depositing a pitch off Itsuki Shoda (1-3) into the seats in right-center to overcome a 1-0 deficit and went deep again off the lefty in the fourth.
Pitching in his first start of the season, Sikorski (1-0) allowed two runs with two walks while striking out five.
Lions 2, Hawks 1
At Seibu Dome, Daisuke Matsuzaka struck out seven over the distance and Taisei Takagi nailed his first homer of the season for the game-winning run in the eighth as the Lions edged Daiei.
Matsuzaka (3-1) scattered seven hits with four walks and turned three double plays in a 135-pitch outing in beating rookie Nagisa Arakaki (2-3), who gave up both runs and eight hits in eight innings.
Kenji Jojima homered for Daiei in the second before Hiroyuki Takagi’s single tied it in the seventh. Alex Cabrera struck out three times.
BlueWave 13, Buffaloes 6
At Yahoo BB Stadium in Kobe, Tatsuya Shindo hit his 100th career homer in the seventh inning to open up a four-run lead as Orix produced 17 hits for 13 runs — both season highs — to beat Kintetsu.
Scott Sheldon had an RBI single to tie the game 1-1 in the third, Kota Soejima hit a sacrifice fly for the go-ahead and the BlueWave batted around for eight runs on eight hits in the frame, highlighted by Kazuhiko Shiotani’s three-run blast.
Hisashi Ogura (1-1) allowed three runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings for the win.
Giants acquire Latham
The Yomiuri Giants have acquired major league outfielder Chris Latham, who has been released from the New York Yankees, officials of the Central League club said Tuesday.
Latham has inked a one-year, 85 million yen deal with the Giants, who are in desperate need of more fielders with Kazuhiro Kiyohara, Daisuke Motoki and Takayuki Shimizu in doubt due to injuries.
Latham, who was promoted to the majors with the Minnesota Twins in 1997, played for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2001 and went 2-for-2 with three runs scored and a stolen base in four games for the Yankees this season. He is scheduled to arrive in Japan around May 20.
Latham said in a statement that he looks forward for the opportunity to play for the Giants, the former team of Yankee outfielder Hideki Matsui who wished the 29-year-old success as he embarks for Japan.
Latham batted .202 with three homers and 19 RBIs in 110 major league games. In the minors, he is a .282 hitter with 95 homers and 518 RBIs in 1,137 games.
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