• Kyodo


Akinori Iwamura homered twice and went 4-for-5 with three RBIs Saturday as the Yakult Swallows stretched their interleague winning streak to six games with an 11-3 victory over the Lotte Marines.

News photoNippon Ham starter Shintaro Ejiri picks up his first career shutout victory in the Fighters’ 1-0 win over the Yokohama BayStars at Sapporo Dome on Saturday.

Iwamura connected off Dan Serafini (3-1) for a two-run homer in the third inning and a solo shot in the fifth before a three-run drive by Adam Riggs, his first homer in Japan, highlighted a six-run sixth that extended the Swallows’ lead to 9-2 at Chiba Marine Stadium.

Yuhei Takai (3-2) yielded three runs on eight hits in eight innings of work while striking out 10 and issuing no walks.

The 11 runs and 15 hits are season highs for the Swallows, who sent Pacific League-leading Lotte to a season-worst third straight loss.

Dragons 3, Hawks 2

At Nagoya Dome, Hirokazu Ibata lined a bases-loaded single to left with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning for his first career “sayonara” hit as Central League leader Chunichi edged Softbank to end its losing streak at four games.

Shinya Okamoto (4-2) struck out three of the four batters he faced in the ninth for the win. The Dragons were held to two hits through six innings before a Kosuke Fukudome solo homer in the seventh and an RBI double by Mitsunobu Takahashi in the eighth tied the game.

Shintaro Yoshitake (0-1), who committed an error to load the bases in the ninth, was tagged with the loss.

Fighters 1, BayStars 0

At Sapporo Dome, Shintaro Ejiri (4-2) pitched his first career complete game with a two-hit shutout, helping Nippon Ham to blank Yokohama and snap its five-game losing skid.

Kuniyuki Kimoto led off the sixth inning with a triple off Yoshihiro Doi (2-3) and came around to score the only run of the game on a Michihiro Ogasawara groundout. Ejiri struck out five and walked three.

Tigers 5, Eagles 1

At Koshien Stadium, Makoto Imaoka broke a 1-1 tie with an RBI single off Gary Rath (0-6) in the third inning and Osamu Hamanaka capped the scoring on a pinch-hit two-run single in the seventh as Hanshin handed Rakuten its fourth loss in as many games.

Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi (4-0) held Rakuten to three hits, including a Yosuke Takasu solo homer in the first, and walked none in six innings of work and three relievers combined on a one-hitter the rest of the way.

Buffaloes 5, Carp 4

At Skymark Stadium, Masahiro Abe hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly off Katsuhiro Nagakawa (0-2) for the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and Cliff Brumbaugh hit a three-run drive for his second homer in as many nights, powering Orix over Hiroshima.

Takuya Kimura doubled home two runs to make it 4-all in Hiroshima’s three-run rally in the eighth but Nagakawa issued back-to-back walks and allowed a single to get himself in trouble and set the stage for the decisive run in the bottom half.

Ryota Katsuki (1-0) posted his first career win for getting one out in the eighth and Masanobu Okubo worked the ninth for the save.

Giants 9, Lions 5 (11)

At Invoice Seibu Dome, Hiroki Kokubo hit a grand slam in the top of the 11th inning to break a 5-5 tie.

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