SAPPORO – Makoto Kaneko had a tiebreaking two-run single in a four-run sixth inning as the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters rallied to beat Hisashi Iwakuma and the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 5-2 on Tuesday.
Slugger Terrmel Sledge tied the game 2-2 with a solo homer off Iwakuma (12-6) before Kaneko’s bases-loaded one-out single. Kensuke Tanaka followed with an RBI double to cap the big inning at Sapporo Dome.
Masaru Takeda (8-7) allowed two runs over seven innings and Hisashi Takeda picked up his Pacific League-leading 31st save with a perfect ninth.
Hawks 12, Buffaloes 4
At Osaska’s Kyocera Dome, Hitoshi Tamura homered and drove in four runs on a 3-for-4 night and Fukuoka Softbank erupted in a seven-run ninth inning to turn a close game against Orix into a blowout.
Tamura had a two-run double with two outs in the first and hit a two-run blast in the fifth that made it 5-0. The Hawks sent 11 batters to the plate in the ninth, featuring a leadoff blast by Nobuhiko Matsunaka.
Hideaki Takahashi (3-3) pitched one-run ball over 5 2/3 innings.
Tadashi Settsu, the fourth pitcher for Softbank, set a new rookie PL record with his 63rd mound appearance this season.
Shogo Yamamoto (9-5) took the loss.
Lions 3, Marines 2
At Chiba Marine Stadium, Tatsuyuki Uemoto had a pinch-hit tying single and delivered the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly as Saitama Seibu came from behind to edge Chiba Lotte.
The Lions moved within two games of the third-place Eagles after Uemoto’s RBI single tied it 2-2 before he gave his team the lead with his fly to right.
Koji Onuma (4-6) got the win in relief while Tomoki Hoshino got two outs in the ninth to pick up his first save in three years. Shunsuke Watanabe (2-12) took the loss.
Tigers 5, Giants 3 (11)
At Tokyo Dome, Akihiro Yano hit a tiebreaking two-run homer off closer Marc Kroon in the 11th inning as Hanshin defeated Yomiuri at Tokyo Dome.
Tied 3-3 with two outs and a runner on third, Yano belted a shot to right off Kroon (1-3) to give his team the lead for good.
Kyuji Fujikawa (5-3) pitched two scoreless innings in relief to pick up his fifth win. Shinnosuke Abe hit a game-tying solo drive for the Giants in the sixth.
Central League-leader Yomiuri’s magic number remained unchanged at 11.
BayStars 6, Swallows 5
Dragons 5, Carp 3 (10)