Giants outmuscle Marines in slugfest victory

Kyodo News

Michihiro Ogasawara hit a tiebreaking solo homer, Hayato Sakamoto also homered among his four hits and the Yomiuri Giants beat the Chiba Lotte Marines 10-8 on Sunday in a slugfest that featured nine home runs between the two teams.

Ogasawara snapped a 3-3 tie with a leadoff shot in the third inning before two-run homers from Alex Ramirez and Yoshinobu Takahashi made it 8-3 in the fifth in interleague play at Tokyo Dome.

“It felt good to hit that home run, especially after they tied the game in the top of the inning,” Ogasawara said of his 349th career homer.

“I hope to hit my No. 350 sometime soon. I still have ups and downs at the plate, so I’ll try to make some adjustments to hit more consistently.”

Sakamoto added a solo home run in the sixth, his third long ball in as many games, and finished the afternoon 4-for-5.

“As the leadoff hitter, I’m just trying to get on base and contribute,” Sakamoto said. “I’ve been able to relax at the plate. (On finishing a triple shy of hitting for the cycle) I’ve had chances at the cycle in my career, but I’ve never achieved it. I hope to do that someday.”

Lions 6, BayStars 5

At Yokohama Stadium, Hisashi Takayama hit a go-ahead RBI single in the top of the ninth inning as Seibu handed the BayStars their sixth straight loss.

With the game tied at 5-5, Hiroyuki Nakajima doubled to lead off the ninth and scored on Takayama’s single to right off Shun Yamaguchi (1-4), after Takeya Nakamura and Dee Brown struck out.

Dragons 4, Buffaloes 1

At Nagoya Dome, Soma Yamauchi threw six solid innings and hit a two-run single as Chunichi beat Orix to win its fourth straight game and move into second in the Central League.

Yamauchi (2-0) allowed one run and four hits before three relievers each pitched an inning. Hitoki Iwase pitched out of a two-on jam in the ninth for his 11th save.

Eagles 7, Tigers 3

At Koshien Stadium, Daisuke Kusano hit a three-run homer and Masahiro Tanaka struck out 10 in seven effective innings as Tohoku Rakuten downed Hanshin.

Kusano’s shot to left off Jason Standridge (1-1) extended Rakuten’s lead to 5-0 in the third inning. Naoto Watanabe and Tanaka hit back-to-back RBI singles in the sixth.

Fighters 6, Carp 2

At Mazda Stadium, Makoto Kaneko homered and drove in four runs and Masaru Takeda threw five solid innings as Hokkaido Nippon Ham beat Hiroshima for its sixth win in seven games.

Kaneko hit a two-run homer in the second inning off Keisuke Imai (0-1) and added a two-run single in the third. Takeda (2-4) gave up one run on three hits.

Hawks 6, Swallows 5