NISHINOMIYA, Hyogo Pref. – Akihiro Yano hit a game-winning solo homer in the ninth inning as the Central League leading Hanshin Tigers prevailed 3-2 over the Yakult Swallows on Tuesday.
Yano fouled off several pitches by reliever Takehiko Oshimoto (5-5) before homering to straightaway center leading off the inning for the decisive blow at Koshien Stadium. Kuji Fujikawa (5-1) retired three in the top half of the frame for the win.
Hanshin took a 2-0 lead in the first inning but Yakult tied the game on an RBI grounder by Masakazu Fukukawa and pitcher Dicky Gonzalez’s run-scoring single in the fifth.
Dragons 3, Giants 2
At Nagoya Dome, Masahiro Araki hit a game-tying RBI single with none out in the eighth and one out later Tyrone Woods doubled home the go-ahead run as Chunichi came from behind to win its fourth in a row.
Takuya Asao (2-1) got the win in relief and Hitoki Iwase posted his 30th save for the fourth straight year, achieving the feat for the first time in his career.
Yomiuri took a 2-0 lead in the first, featuring Tomohiro Nioka’s bases-loaded RBI single but Kiyoshi Toyoda (3-2), the team’s third reliever, crumbled in the eighth.
BayStars 8, Carp 3
At Hiroshima Stadium, Yuji Yoshimi helped his own cause with a tiebreaking RBI double in the sixth and his teammates came alive at the plate as Yokohama rallied to rout the hosts en route to snapping a three-game losing streak.
Yoshimi (3-3) went the distance in his first complete game of the season, allowing five hits in a 123-pitch outing. Colby Lewis (13-6) was saddled with the loss.
Fighters 4, Lions 1
At Seibu Dome, Yu Darvish limited the damage to one run, striking out 12 in eight sharp innings and Shin Takahashi hit a decisive three-run homer as Hokkaido Nippon Ham downed Pacific League frontrunner Seibu.
Seibu got on the scoreboard first when Takeya Nakamura hit his PL leading 37th homer in the second inning, but the Fighters rallied in the fifth on Atsunori Inaba’s game-tying single followed by Shinji Takahashi’s drive over the left-center wall off Kazuhisa Ishii (10-9) for the lead.
Darvish (13-4) allowed just three hits with no walks and Micheal Nakamura worked the ninth for his 24th save.
Buffaloes 4, Marines 3
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Mitsutaka Goto delivered a tiebreaking double in the fifth and the Orix bullpen held off Chiba Lotte after first squandering a three-run lead.
Satoshi Komatsu (12-3) yielded three runs on five hits in seven innings before handing the game over to relievers Tsuyoshi Kikuchihara and Daisuke Kato, who picked up his 32nd save. Submarine hurler Shunsuke Watanabe (12-6) was charged with the loss.
Eagles 3, Hawks 1
At Fukuoka’s Yahoo Dome, Tohoku Rakuten’s Fernando Seguignol, Takeshi Yamasaki and Rick Short had consecutive RBI singles in the fourth to help make a winner of Hisashi Iwakuma, who pitched one-run ball over eight innings for a win over Softbank.
Iwakuma (18-3), who leads Japanese baseball in wins, scattered 11 hits with seven strikeouts and no walks, and Marcus Gwyn shut the door in the ninth for his second save.