Nioka, Y. Takahashi help Yomiuri win in exhibition


Tomohiro Nioka and Yoshinobu Takahashi each had three hits and combined for three RBIs to lead the Yomiuri Giants to a 9-3 win over the Seibu Lions in a preseason game Tuesday.

News photo
Yokohama BayStars lefty Yuji Yoshimi pitches against the Hokkaido Nippon Ham
Fighters during a preseason game at Sapporo Dome.

Nioka hit a solo homer and an RBI double in going 3-for-4, while Takahashi delivered a pair of doubles and a run-scoring single in his three at-bats at Invoice Seibu Dome.

Seibu left-hander Kazuyuki Hoashi gave up six runs and 11 hits in six innings. The Lions had a 10-5 record with two ties, the best among the Pacific League clubs, as the league wrapped up the preseason exhibition schedule ahead of Saturday’s regular-season openers.

The Central League regular season starts on March 31.

Hawks 7, Swallows 2

Tadaatsu Nakazawa hit a two-run homer off Yakult left-hander Kazuhisa Ishii and Julio Zuleta added a three-run double for Softbank.

Ishii allowed three runs and four hits while striking out eight, walking three and hitting a batter in five innings at Jingu Stadium.

Dragons 6, Carp 1

Chunichi right-hander Masafumi Hirai threw 6-2/3 strong innings, allowing just one run on four hits and two walks. Pinch-hitter Mitsunobu Takahashi hit a three-run home run off John Bale in the eighth to put the game away at Nagaragawa stadium in Gifu.

Fighters 2, BayStars 2 (9)

Nippon Ham left-hander Corey Lee held Yokohama to a run on four hits in five innings. Yokohama lefty Yuji Yoshimi also had an effective start that is expected to help him earn a rotation spot, limiting Nippon Ham to two runs in six innings at Sapporo Dome.

Eagles 3, Marines 3 (9)

At Chiba Marine Stadium, Rakuten ace Hisashi Iwakuma worked one scoreless inning in his first preseason appearance after a shoulder injury forced him to make a slow start in spring training. Val Pascucci hit his first preseason homer for Lotte.

Buffaloes 4, Tigers 0

Orix right-hander Tom Davey held Hanshin scoreless in seven innings of work, while Hanshin right-hander Yuya Ando allowed three runs in three innings at Osaka Dome. Kazuhiro Kiyohara had an RBI single among his two hits.