Lefty Hisanori Takahashi pitched eight scoreless innings before giving up two runs in the ninth in going the distance and Takayuki Shimizu smashed a grand slam to cap a five-run fourth as the Yomiuri Giants downed the Hanshin Tigers 8-2 on Friday at Tokyo Dome.
It was Yomiuri’s only second win against the Central League-leaders this season. Hanshin still enjoys a comfortable seven-game lead over the Giants.
Takahashi (3-3) threw 140 pitches, fanning 11 while giving up eight hits and walking one for his third complete-game win.
Yomiuri took a 3-0 lead in the second inning with Takayuki Saito’s two-run dinger off Hanshin starter Trey Moore (7-2) and an RBI double by Shunsuke Hara.
In the fourth with none out, the Giants loaded the bases with two singles and a walk before Takahashi drew a walk to put Yomiuri up 4-0.
Hanshin then gave up on Moore, putting reliever Masahiro Sakumoto on the mound, but followup Shimizu blasted Sakumoto’s slider into the right-center field bleachers to give the Giants an 8-0 lead.
Hanshin managed to avoid a shutout loss when Toshihiro Noguchi hit an RBI triple and scored on Yoshinori Okihara’s sacrifice fly in the ninth.
Dragons 5, Swallows 4
Takayuki Onishi went 5-for-5 — including a solo roundtripper to leadoff the first inning — while Alex Ochoa and Ivan Cruz homered in back-to-back at-bats in the third as Chunichi edged Yakult at Chiba Marine Stadium.
Eiji Ochiai (5-0) picked up the win, pitching 1 2/3 innings in relief of starter Masahiro Yamamoto.
BlueWave 5, Fighters 4
Scott Sheldon hit a go-ahead solo homer in the eighth as Orix came from behind to edge Nippon Ham at Yahoo BB Stadium, snapping its losing streak at six.
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