Matsuzaka helps Lions end skid


Alex Cabrera hit a go-ahead two-run double and Daisuke Matsuzaka notched his second complete-game win of the season Friday as the Seibu Lions rallied to beat the Yomiuri Giants 3-1 to snap a five-game losing skid.

News photoMasahiro Yamamoto of the Chunichi Dragons pitches against the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles at Nagoya Dome.

Hiroyuki Nakajima hit a game-tying single and Cabrera followed with his double to right-center off Tetsuya Utsumi (4-2) to cap a three-run eighth inning in the interleague game at Invoice Seibu Dome.

Matsuzaka (5-1) gave up an RBI single to Lee Seung Yeop in the first but settled down to win his fifth straight decision. The right-hander allowed five hits with seven strikeouts and a walk.

Utsumi yielded three runs and eight hits in 7-2/3 innings while striking out eight and walking one as Central League leader Yomiuri ended its winning streak at four games.

Fighters 4, BayStars 1

Michihiro Ogasawara opened the scoring for the third straight game and rookie left-hander Tomoya Yagi pitched his first complete game as Nippon Ham stayed atop the Pacific League standings with a win over Yokohama.

Ogasawara put Nippon Ham ahead in the first inning with an RBI single off Takumi Nasuno (0-1) and a Makoto Kaneko run-scoring single made it 2-0 in the second at Sapporo Dome.

Kuniyuki Kimoto, who went 3-for-4 on the night, hit a two-run single in the eighth to push Nippon Ham’s lead to 4-1 after a triple by Katsuaki Furuki cut Yokohama’s deficit to one run in the fifth.

Yagi (4-2) struck out nine, scattered seven hits and issued no walks in a 143-pitch outing. Nasuno was charged with two runs in seven innings in taking the loss in his first start of the season.

Hawks 8, Tigers 1

Mitsuru Honma went 2-for-4 with a tiebreaking hit in the fourth inning and Kazumi Saito threw his first complete game this season, helping Softbank beat Hanshin for its first win in three games.

Honma had a two-run infield single with two outs and the bases loaded for a 3-1 lead after an RBI single by Hiroshi Shibahara tied the score in a three-run fourth at Yahoo Dome.

Nobuhiko Matsunaka hit a three-run homer to make it 6-1 in the fifth. Naoyuki Omura and Munenori Kawasaki drove in two more runs with a single and a double in the next inning.

Saito (4-2) allowed one run and eight hits with eight strikeouts and no walks. Kei Igawa (3-3) gave up eight runs — six earned — and eight hits in six innings.

Buffaloes 6, Swallows 3

At Osaka Dome, Masahiro Abe drove in the go-ahead run in the fourth inning and Norihiro Nakamura hit a two-run homer as Orix went on to snap Yakult’s winning streak at three games.

Abe’s single broke a 1-1 tie and Nakamura’s sixth homer of the season made it 4-1 before the Swallows pulled within a run in the sixth on a two-run homer by Adam Riggs. RBI hits from Toshihiro Kitagawa and Makoto Shiozaki gave Orix a three-run cushion again in the seventh.

Former major leaguer Masato Yoshii (3-1) earned the win after allowing three runs on six hits over six innings and Masanobu Okubo picked up his eighth save. Shohei Tateyama (1-1) took the loss.

Marines 6, Carp 3

Tsuyoshi Nishioka hit a two-run homer to ignite the offense and Hiroyuki Kobayashi threw seven effective innings as Lotte beat Hiroshima to end its five-game losing streak.

Nishioka’s shot off Mike Romano (0-2) put Lotte on the board and Matt Franco added an RBI single to cap a three-run third. Nishioka drove in another run with an infield single in the fourth on a 3-for-4 night, helping Kobayashi (3-0) win his third straight start.

Eagles 5, Dragons 4

Yosuke Takasu and Rick Short had two-run singles off Masahiro Yamamoto (2-2) to help Rakuten build a 5-0 lead after the top of the fifth inning and Chunichi’s rally fell short at Nagoya Dome.

Takasu and Short backed Hideki Asai (2-5), who held Chunichi to two runs in six-plus innings and helped his own cause with an RBI single in the fourth.