NISHINOMIYA, Hyogo Pref. – Tomoaki Kanemoto hit a tie-breaking two-run homer in the sixth inning, leading the Hanshin Tigers to a 5-4 victory over the Yomiuri Giants on Tuesday.
The veteran slugger drove a 1-2 slider from Shugo Fujii (0-1) into the seats in right-center to put Hanshin ahead 5-3 at Koshien Stadium. The Tigers snapped a three-game losing streak.
Kanemoto tied former Giants star Shigeo Nagashima’s career home-run mark of 444, 13th on Nippon Professional Baseball’s all-time list.
“It’s an unbelievable honor to tie Nagashima-san. Hopefully I can also hit my 445th home run in a game against the Giants,” Kanemoto said. “My excitement doubles or even triples when I hit a home run here at Koshien against the Giants. We’ll try to build momentum by beating them.”
Atsushi Nomi (2-0) allowed four runs, two earned, in seven innings. Kyuji Fujikawa escaped a two-on jam in the ninth for his third save.
Takahiro Arai hit his first home run of the season with a two-run shot in the fourth.
Yomiuri had its winning streak halted at four.
Dragons 5, BayStars 3
At Yokohama Stadium, Daisuke Yamai notched his first win since Sept. 30, 2007, as Chunichi beat Yokohama to extend its winning streak to five games.
Lions 3, Buffaloes 0
At Seibu Dome, Takayuki Kishi threw a one-hitter and Hiroyuki Nakajima and Dee Brown both went 2-for-4 with an RBI as Saitama Seibu handed Orix its fourth consecutive loss.
Kishi (2-1) only allowed two runners to reach base, on an error in the first inning and a single in the seventh. The right-hander retired 19 batters in a row at one point.
Hawks 4, Marines 2
At Yahoo Dome, Nobuhiko Matsunaka hit a two-run homer and D.J. Houlton threw 6 2/3 effective innings as Fukuoka Softbank beat Chiba Lotte for its third straight win.
Eagles 3, Fighters 1
At Sapporo Dome, Satoshi Nagai threw one-run ball over eight innings and Motohiro Shima and Ryo Hijirisawa hit back-to-back RBI singles in the fifth as Tohoku Rakuten rallied to beat Hokkaido Nippon Ham.
Tigers acquire reliever Kawasaki
OSAKA (Kyodo) The Hanshin Tigers said Tuesday they have acquired left-handed reliever Yusuke Kawasaki from the Chiba Lotte Marines for cash.
The 28-year-old has a 7-8 career record with one save and a 3.37 ERA in four seasons with Lotte.
Kawasaki was named the Pacific League best middle reliever of the year in 2008, when he made 65 appearances and had 31 holds.