Atsushi Kataoka drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning Sunday to lift the Central League-leading Hanshin Tigers to a 1-0 walkoff win over the Yomiuri Giants.
Kataoka’s clutch, two-out single into the gap in left-center field at Koshien Stadium allowed pinch runner Shuta Tanaka to score from second with the winning run.
Makoto Imaoka reached first on a error by Yomiuri third baseman Akira Eto to break open the bottom of the 10th inning. Tanaka, who replaced Imaoka, advanced to second on Norihiro Akahoshi’s bunt.
After Tomonori Kanemoto was intentionally walked and Shinjiro Hiyama flied out, Kataoka hit the game-ending single.
Hanshin starter Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi held the Giants hitless for the first five innings. He gave up a hit in the top of the sixth and was replaced by a pinch hitter in the bottom of the frame. Rookie Tomoyuki Kubota, who retired the side in the 10th, picked up his first career win.
With the victory, Hanshin opened up a 9 1/2-game lead over Yomiuri in the standings.
Dragons 7, BayStars 4
In Shizuoka, Ivan Cruz and Motonobu Tanishige hit back-to-back solo homers in the eighth inning to lift Chunichi to a win over Yokohama.
Tyrone Woods hit his league-leading 21st homer in the third, a two-run blast that cut the Chunichi lead to 4-2.
Carp 11, Swallows 3
In Hitachinaka, Ibaraki Pref., Tomonori Maeda and Koichi Goto both connected for two-run homers to lead Hiroshima to victory over Yakult.
Yasushi Tsuruta gave up two runs on five hits over six innings to pick up his first win of the season.
Hawks 9, Buffaloes 2
In Fukuoka, Pedro Valdes slammed a three-run homer as the Pacific League-leading Daiei Hawks scored seven runs in the second inning on their way to a 9-2 victory over the Kintetsu Buffaloes.
Valdes, formerly of the Texas Rangers, connected off of Kintetsu starter Hisashi Iwakuma with a blast into the right field stands at Fukuoka Dome. It was his 12th homer of the season.
Daiei starter Hayato Terahara picked up the win and improved to 6-0 after giving up one run on two hits over five innings.
Iwakuma took the loss after being rocked for five runs on eight hits in only 3 2/3 innings of work.
With the victory, the Hawks opened up a 2 1/2-game lead over Kintetsu.
Lions 7, Marines 4
In Chiba, Kazuhiro Wada connected for a solo homer in the top of the seventh inning as Seibu topped Lotte.
Koji Mitsui picked up the win after holding the Marines to three runs on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings.
Kiyoshi Toyoda retired the side in the ninth for his 15th save of the season.
Fighters 6, BlueWave 0
At Tokyo Dome, Michihiro Ogasawara belted a three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh as Nippon Ham cruised to victory over last-place Orix.
Fighters starter Itsuki Shoda held the BlueWave to three hits over the distance to pick up his second win of the season and his first victory since April 1.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.