• Kyodo


The Chiba Lotte Marines scored the winning run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning to cap a late rally Saturday, edging the Chunichi Dragons 4-3 in interleague play to retain their lead in the Pacific League.

News photoCliff Brumbaugh of Orix Buffaloes hits a home run in the third inning of Saturday’s game against the Yakult Swallows at Jingu Stadium.

Lotte tied the game at 3-3 in the seventh on a Lee Seung Yeop solo homer and a double-play grounder by Toshiaki Imae before finishing the game when Shinya Okamoto threw (4-3) a wild pitch to score Akira Otsuka, who had hit a leadoff double and took third on a Tomoya Satozaki sacrifice bunt.

Yasuhiko Yabuta (3-2) earned the win after working two hitless innings in relief of Dan Serafini, who allowed three runs, two earned, on seven hits and three walks in seven innings of work.

The Dragons went up 3-1 after Kazuyoshi Tatsunami doubled home a run in a two-run third and Tyrone Woods hit a solo shot in the fifth.

Lotte snapped its losing skid at Chiba Marine Stadium at five with its first “sayonara” victory of the season.

Tigers 9, Hawks 2

Tomoaki Kanemoto homered twice and drove in five runs to highlight a 16-hit attack, helping Hanshin beat Softbank at Yahoo Dome for its third victory in four games.

Kanemoto connected off Tsuyoshi Wada (4-4) for a two-run shot that opened the scoring in the first and hit his second homer of the night with another two-run drive in the eighth. Kanemoto also had an RBI single in the sixth in a 4-for-5 outing.

Carp 8, Eagles 3

At Hiroshima Stadium, pinch-hitter Takahiro Arai hit a tiebreaking grand slam to cap a five-run fifth inning as the Carp handed PL cellar dweller Rakuten its fourth consecutive loss.

Tom Davey (1-1) worked six innings for the win. He gave up six hits, including a two-run single to Akihito Fujii in a three-run fourth, and four walks while striking out four.

BayStars 7, Lions 2

At Yokohama Stadium, Seiichi Uchikawa doubled home two runs and Hitoshi Tamura hit a three-run homer in a six-run third inning as the BayStars beat Seibu to end their three-game losing streak.

Giants 10, Fighters 9

At Tokyo Dome, Hiroki Kokubo went 4-for-4 with a pair of homers and Tomohiro Nioka hit what proved to be a key homer in the seventh inning as Yomiuri held off Nippon Ham in a wild slugfest featuring eight homers and 28 hits.

Tuffy Rhodes also homered for the Giants with a sixth-inning leadoff shot off Tsutomu Iwamoto (0-2) that broke a 7-7 tie. Hichori Morimoto, who hit two homers, Tsuyoshi Shinjo and Iwamoto went deep for Nippon Ham.

Buffaloes 9, Swallows 5 (11)

At Jingu Stadium, Eiji Mizuguchi singled home the winning run that broke a 5-5 tie and Daisuke Hayakawa hit a three-run homer in the top of the 11th inning, leading Orix over Yakult.

Japan beats China

MIYAZAKI (AP) Masato Nakamura drove in a pair of runs Saturday as host Japan cruised to a 10-3 win over China in the Asian Championship.

Japan, which already guaranteed itself a ticket to the International Baseball Federation’s World Cup of Baseball in September, improved to 2-0 in the six-nation tournament.

In Saturday’s other game, Taiwan edged South Korea 3-2.

Taiwan and South Korea also booked places in the World Cup, which will be played in the Netherlands.

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