• Kyodo


Alex Cabrera hit a run-scoring double to ignite a four-run fourth inning as the Seibu Lions went on to beat the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 6-3 in a preseason game Saturday.

News photoKatsuhiko Miyaji of the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks slides into home safely ahead of the tag of Carp catcher Yoshikazu Kura during Saturday’s preseason game at Hiroshima Stadium. The Hawks won 12-7.

Yoshihito Ishii, Hiroyuki Nakajima, Kosuke Noda, Taisei Takagi and Hiroyuki Shibata each drove in a run while Atsushi Okamoto earned the win after allowing one run in five strong innings at Invoice Seibu Dome.

Daisuke Masuda hit a two-run homer for the Eagles in the seventh but Seibu added two runs in the eighth.

Dragons 0, Fighters 0

In Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, Nippon Ham starter Shintaro Ejiri pitched four-hit ball over five innings in a duel with Chunichi starter Daisuke Yamai, who allowed just three hits in five solid frames.

Both teams failed to score in a game called after nine innings.

Hawks 12, Carp 7

In Hiroshima, Mitsuru Honma hit a three-run homer to cap a seven-run outburst in the fourth inning.

Nobuhiko Matsunaka and Kenji Jojima both connected for two-run blasts for their second homers this spring, giving run support to Kazumi Saito, who gave up four runs on six hits in six shaky innings.

BayStars 6, Marines 1

At Chiba Marine Stadium, Hitoshi Taneda and Ryoji Aikawa both had RBI doubles in support of Yokohama starter Cedric Bowers, who yielded just two hits in six shutout innings while striking out two.

Buffaloes 5, Giants 4

At Skymark Stadium in Kobe, Arihito Muramatsu hit a two-run single to highlight a four-run second inning and Jeremy Powell took the win after allowing four runs in six innings.

Akira Eto drew a bases-loaded walk while Kohei Oda and Kenji Yano had run-scoring singles in the Giants’ four-run sixth.

Tigers 2, Swallows 1

At Koshien Stadium, Kei Igawa pitched three perfect innings with four strikeouts and Kodai Sakurai homered in a two-run rally in the seventh.

Two Hanshin relievers allowed a pair of hits, including a homer to Masakazu Fukukawa, after Igawa left.

Taguchi goes deep

VIERA, Fla. (Kyodo) St. Louis Cardinals outfielder So Taguchi hit his first homer of the spring Friday as he extended his hitting streak to five games in a 12-3 rout of the Washington Nationals.

Taguchi, vying for a regular spot in the Cardinals outfield, lined a pitch from Washington starter Zach Day over the left-field wall for a solo shot in the second inning. He reached base on an error and struck out twice in his other at-bats.

“It was a sinker that drifted into the middle of the strike zone and I guess he wanted to go inside with that pitch,” said Taguchi, the second Japanese player to hit a preseason homer this year following Hideki Matsui of the New York Yankees.

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