• Kyodo


Makoto Imaoka hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 11th inning as the Central League-leading Hanshin Tigers beat the Yomiuri Giants 4-3 on Friday.

News photoMakoto Imaoka of the Tigers celebrates with his teammates after hitting a game-ending
sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift Hanshin past the Yomiuri Giants 4-3 on
Friday at Koshien Stadium.

Imaoka’s one-out fly ball to center off Yuya Kubo (3-2) scored Norihiro Akahoshi, who had reached on a leadoff single and took third on a Takashi Toritani sacrifice bunt and a single by Andy Sheets.

Kubo then intentionally walked Tomoaki Kanemoto to load the bases, only to allow the winning run for a dramatic ending to the game at Koshien Stadium. Tomoyuki Kubota (2-2) earned the win after pitching two scoreless innings.

Hanshin jumped to a 3-0 first-inning lead on Kanemoto’s double and a sacrifice fly by Shinjiro Hiyama off Koji Uehara.

Yomiuri rallied to tie the game in the fourth after Kazuhiro Kiyohara and Shinnosuke Abe hit back-to-back RBI singles, followed by a run-scoring double from Tomohiro Nioka.

Dragons 12, Carp 4

At Hiroshima Stadium, Kazuki Inoue homered twice on 3-for-5 hitting and drove in five runs, lifting Chunichi past the Carp.

Inoue hit a three-run homer in the second and added an RBI single in a two-run fourth that made it 5-2. The left fielder capped the scoring with a solo shot in the ninth following a three-run homer by Kosuke Fukudome.


Hawks 5, Fighters 4

In Fukuoka, Nobuhiko Matsunaka hit a tiebreaking two-run homer and Tsuyoshi Wada pitched seven effective innings as Softbank stretched its winning streak to a season-high six games with a victory over Nippon Ham.

Matsunaka broke a 2-2 tie when he connected off Yusaku Iriki (3-3) for his Pacific League-leading 24th homer before Katsuhiko Miyaji capped a three-run sixth with an RBI single at Yahoo Dome.

Wada (8-4) won his fourth straight decision after allowing three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out four.

Nippon Ham took a 2-0 lead after two innings on an RBI double from Fernando Seguignol and a Yukio Tanaka solo homer. Michihiro Ogasawara homered in the eighth for the Fighters.

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