Shun Tono came within two outs of his second shutout of the season and flamethrower Marc Kroon sealed the deal as the Yomiuri Giants beat the Chiba Lotte Marines 4-2 on Saturday.
Tono (7-1) allowed two runs on five hits, striking out 12 with four walks and won his seventh straight start. He gave up an RBI single to pinch-hitter Kazuya Fukuura in the ninth.
Kroon took the mound with runners on first and second and walked Toshiaki Imae before yielding an RBI single to Takeshi Kanazawa for Lotte’s second run, but he struck out pitch-hitter Shunichi Nemoto and Tsuyoshi Nishioka to end it.
Tono opened the scoring with an RBI single in the second and Michihiro Ogasawara, Hayato Sakamoto and Alex Ramirez hit solo homers in the third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
Ramirez’s blast off lefty Yoshihisa Naruse (5-4) to left-center was his 300th career home run in Japan.
Tigers 3, Eagles 2
At Koshien Stadium, Takashi Toritani had a tiebreaking RBI single in the fifth inning and Craig Brazell added insurance with a homer leading off the eighth as Hanshin edged Tohoku Rakuten.
Toritani singled to left with two outs off Hisashi Iwakuma (4-3) for a 2-1 lead and Brazell hit his 13th home run of the season three innings later, off the right-hander.
Lions 12, BayStars 3
At Yokohama Stadium, Hideaki Wakui threw seven effective innings and helped his own cause by going 3-for-4 with four RBIs, leading Seibu to a rout of the BayStars.
Wakui (5-2) held Yokohama to three runs and six hits. At the plate, he had an RBI single in the second inning and three-run double in the third.
Carp 1, Fighters 0
At Mazda Stadium, Masato Akamatsu singled home the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning as Hiroshima edged Hokkaido Nippon Ham to snap a three-game losing streak.
Kenta Kurihara had a one-out double and went on to score from third on Akamatsu’s base hit up the middle off Keisuke Tanimoto (1-2). Kenta Maeda (6-2) allowed six hits in his first shutout of the season.
Dragons 5, Buffaloes 4
At Nagoya Dome, Masaaki Koike delivered a walk-off single as Chunichi scored two runs in the ninth inning to beat Orix for its third straight win.
Tony Blanco tied the game 4-4 in the ninth with a one-out RBI double before birthday boy Koike followed with a single that deflected off Jon Leicester (0-1), plating Masahiko Morino from third.
Hawks 2, Swallows 0
At Jingu Stadium, Munenori Kawasaki singled in two runs in the second inning, Tsuyoshi Wada and three relievers combined on a five-hit shutout, and Softbank beat Yakult.