• Kyodo


Takashi Toritani hit his second home run of the night in the bottom of the 10th inning Wednesday, giving the Hanshin Tigers a 3-2 “sayonara” win over the Yokohama BayStars in the Central League.

News photoThe Hanshin Tigers celebrate as Takashi Toritani rounds the bases after his “sayonara” home
run in the bottom of the 10th inning against the Yokohama BayStars Wednesday at Koshien
Stadium. The Tigers won 3-2.

Toritani tied the game 2-2 in the sixth with a solo homer and blasted another, his ninth of the season, when he connected off Takeharu Kato (4-6) to end the game at Koshien Stadium.

Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi (15-3) became the first 15-game winner in the league after holding Yokohama to two runs on 10 hits over 10 innings.

Yokohama took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth on back-to-back RBI singles by Hitoshi Taneda and Shuichi Murata. But Makoto Imaoka responded with a run-scoring single in the bottom half as Hanshin cut the lead to one.

Carp 4, Giants 1

At Tokyo Dome, Tom Davey and three relievers combined for a five-hitter to lead Hiroshima past Yomiuri, which finished the season with 80 losses, the worst in club history.

Davey (6-6) allowed just one run and two hits over six innings before Katsuhiro Nagakawa, Ryoji Yokoyama and John Bale held Yomiuri scoreless the rest of the way.

Yoshinobu Takahashi homered off Davey for Yomiuri.

Swallows 6, Dragons 4

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Kosei Ono hit a go-ahead three-run double in the eighth inning as Yakult rallied to beat Chunichi.

Pinch-hitter Atsuya Furuta singled home a run to tie the game at 3-3 with his 1,000th career RBI. Ono then cleared the bases with a two-out double to make it 6-3.

Yakult’s Norichika Aoki went hitless for the second straight game after matching the CL record of 192 hits.

Not so fast …

The Yakult Swallows have no plans to allow infielder Akinori Iwamura to pursue a major-league career next season via the so-called posting system, club president Yoshikazu Tagiku said Wednesday.

“Iwamura will stay. I want him to move (to the major leagues) after leading the Swallows to a pennant next year,” Tagiku said, adding that the same thing applies to left-handed closer Hirotoshi Ishii, who also hopes to ply his trade in the majors under the system.

Tagiku’s comments came a day after Iwamura requested anew that the Central League club give him a chance to fulfill his dream of playing in the majors through the posting system, in which major-league teams present sealed bids for Japanese players.

Hawks, Tigers clean up

Kyodo News Makoto Imaoka and Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi won the Central League’s monthly MVP awards for September after leading the Hanshin Tigers to their second league title in three years.

Imaoka, leading the league with 146 RBIs before Wednesday, drove in 30 runs in September to receive the award for the first time since 2003 and the third time in his career.

Shimoyanagi was 4-0 with a 0.65 ERA in the month to win the award for pitchers.

The Pacific League selected infielder Nobuhiko Matsunaka and right-hander Nagisa Arakaki of the Softbank Hawks.

Matsunaka led the league with a batting average of .386, seven home runs and 18 RBIs in September.

Arakaki was 4-0 with a 2.62 ERA and pitched two complete-game shutouts.

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