Tsuruoka’s first career homer lifts Fighters over BayStars


Shinya Tsuruoka hit his first career homer to break a 1-1 tie in the seventh inning as the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters beat the Yokohama BayStars 3-1 Saturday for their third consecutive win.

News photoHanshin’s Tomoaki Kanemoto scores behind Softbank catcher Katsuki Yamazaki Saturday at Yahoo Dome.

Second-year backup catcher Tsuruoka homered over the left-center fence leading off the seventh and Fernando Seguignol added an RBI double for the Pacific League leaders in the eighth in interleague play at Sapporo Dome.

Shintaro Ejiri (4-2) held Yokohama to one run and seven hits in seven-plus innings. Hisashi Takeda pitched a scoreless ninth for his third save.

Yuji Hata (1-1) was charged with three runs and six hits in 7 1/3 innings in taking the loss as Yokohama lost its third straight and fell a season-worst 13 games below .500.

Atsunori Inaba had a run-scoring single to put Nippon Ham ahead in the first and threw out Yuki Yoshimura trying to score from second on a two-out single to right by Takuro Ishii with runners on second and third in the fifth.

Lions 6, Giants 4

At Invoice Seibu Dome, Yasuyuki Kataoka and Alex Cabrera both hit two-run doubles as the Lions batted around in a six-run fourth inning and rallied to beat Central League-leading Yomiuri for the second straight night.

After Takumi Kuriyama cut the deficit to 3-1 on a one-out single to right, Kataoka tied the game and Cabrera turned the game around with his two-out double to left, making it 5-3, before Kazuhiro Wada capped the scoring for the Lions with an RBI single.

Marines 2, Carp 1 (10)

At Chiba Marine Stadium, pinch-hitter Val Pascucci hit a game-tying homer in the seventh inning and Kazuya Fukuura singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 10th as Lotte edged Hiroshima with its second “sayonara” victory of the season.

Fukuura’s game-ending hit to right came after the Marines loaded the bases with two outs against Masaki Hayashi (0-1) on an Akira Otsuka leadoff single, an intentional walk to Shunichi Nemoto and a hit-by-pitch to Masato Watanabe.

Tigers 5, Hawks 3

At Yahoo Dome, Yuya Ando scattered seven hits over six effective innings and catcher Akihiro Yano turned a close game around with a bases-clearing double in the eighth, helping Hanshin to its fourth win in five games.

Dragons 10, Eagles 1

At Nagoya Dome, Tyrone Woods went 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs and Kazuki Inoue also had three hits and three RBIs as Chunichi demolished Tohoku Rakuten.

Swallows 3, Buffaloes 2

At Osaka Dome, Akinori Iwamura hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Yakult held off a ninth-inning rally by Orix.