CHIBA – Hirokazu Ibata hit a game-tying double and second baseman Koichi Hori’s fielding error allowed the go-ahead run to score in the eighth inning Wednesday as the Chunichi Dragons beat the Chiba Lotte Marines 5-2 to take the Central League lead.
Chunichi turned a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead in the eighth and added two runs in the ninth on an RBI double by Norihiro Nakamura and a run-scoring single from Lee Byung Kyu at Chiba Marine Stadium.
Takashi Ogasawara (3-0) held Lotte to two runs and eight hits in seven innings. Soichi Fujita (1-1) took the loss.
Hitoki Iwase closed out the ninth to earn his 13th save.
Fighters 4, Giants 2
At Sapporo Dome, Yu Darvish threw a six hitter in his fifth complete game of the season and got all the run support he needed in Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s victory over Yomiuri.
Darvish (5-2) struck out five and walked none in an efficient 109-pitch outing at Sapporo Dome. Nippon Ham won its fourth straight to return to .500 in the Pacific League standings.
Eiichi Koyano had a two-run triple in the bottom of the first and scored on Yukio Tanaka’s two-run homer in the next at-bat as Nippon Ham changed a 2-0 deficit into a 4-2 lead.
Norihito Kaneto (4-1) took the loss as Yomiuri slipped back into second in the Central League standings.
BayStars 2, Lions 1
At Goodwill Dome, Veteran lefty Kimiyasu Kudo pitched six shutout innings in a six-strikeout effort, helping Yokohama snap an eight-game losing streak with a win over Seibu.
Kudo (1-4) won his first decision of the season, allowing four hits and one walk. Marc Kroon worked the ninth for his ninth save.
Yuki Yoshimura opened the scoring with his RBI single in the second and Kazuya Fujita added a run-scoring double.
Tigers 3, Hawks 1
At yahoo Dome, Tomoaki Kanemoto, Lin Wei-zhu and Andy Sheets each drove in runs to back an effective outing from veteran lefty Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi, who limited damage to a solo blast to Adam Hyzdu through 5 2/3 innings. Kanemoto had an RBI double in the first followed by Lin’s clutch single in the second. Fukuoka Softbank cut the deficit to one run with Hyzdu’s homer in the fourth before Sheets singled in a run in the seventh for a little breathing room.
The relief team of Tomoyuki Kubota, Jeff Williams and Kyuji Fujikawa close the door, with Fujikawa pitching 1 1/3 innings for his 13th save of the season.
Eagles 5, Swallows 4 (10)
Carp at Buffaloes — Late
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