FUKUOKA – Nobuhiko Matsunaka capped his three-homer night against Daisuke Matsuzaka with a “sayonara” solo shot in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Pacific League-leading Softbank Hawks beat the Seibu Lions 4-3 on Friday.
Matsunaka drove a 1-1 fastball into the right-field stands of Yahoo Dome for his PL-high 32nd home run after hitting a solo homer in the second and a two-run blast in the fourth in a 4-for-4 outing, which also featured a double.
Matsunaka’s game-ending homer handed Matsuzaka (7-10) his 10th loss of the season. The Lions ace allowed four runs, all off Matsunaka’s bat, on nine hits with six strikeouts and no walks.
Shintaro Yoshitake (1-3) picked up the win after working two innings in relief of Kazumi Saito, who had 11 strikeouts in seven innings while giving up solo homers to Kazuhiro Wada and Alex Cabrera.
Buffaloes 1, Marines 0
At Chiba Marine Stadium, Yoshitomo Tani broke a scoreless deadlock with an RBI single in the sixth inning and Jeremy Powell pitched seven-plus shutout innings, helping Orix blank Lotte.
Tani hit the first of the Buffaloes’ three hits off Naoyuki Shimizu (7-7) for the decisive run, scoring Keiichi Hirano, who had reached on an error by Lotte first baseman Kazuya Fukuura.
Eagles 8, Fighters 4
At Sapporo Dome, Daisuke Masuda broke a 3-3 tie with a two-run single and Luis Lopez followed with a two-run double in a five-run fifth inning as Tohoku Rakuten handed Nippon Ham its third straight loss.
Rakuten delivered six consecutive hits in the fifth-inning onslaught on a 17-hit night, making a winner of Hisashi Iwakuma (7-8), who pitched his sixth complete game this season. Shintaro Ejiri (6-4) took the loss, yielding seven runs in 4 1/3 innings.
Tigers 14, Carp 5
At Koshien Stadium, Makoto Imaoka drove in four runs and Tomoaki Kanemoto walked four times, including twice with the bases loaded, as Hanshin capitalized on the wildness Hiroshima’s pitchers.
Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi (8-1) earned the win after giving up three runs and four hits in five innings of work. He helped his own cause with an RBI single that capped the first inning.
BayStars 4, Giants 3
At Tokyo Dome, Shuichi Murata homered twice, including a second-inning tiebreaking shot, and Yoshihiro Doi threw six effective innings as Yokohama held off Yomiuri for its fifth straight win.
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