Big seventh inning powers Tigers

Kyodo News

Matt Murton hit a two-run homer to cap a six-run seventh inning, Randy Messenger threw two-run ball over six innings and the Hanshin Tigers routed the Yakult Swallows 11-4 on Sunday.

Hanshin moved within a half game of the Central League-leading Yomiuri Giants.

The Tigers turned a 2-0 deficit into a 6-2 lead in the seventh. Pinch hitter Lin Wei-zhu hit a tying two-run triple and Takashi Toritani drove in the go-ahead run with a groundout.

Keiichi Hirano added an RBI double before Murton’s shot to center at Jingu Stadium.

Messenger (2-1) gave up six hits, walked none and struck out six. Kenji Johjima homered for the second straight game with a solo shot in the eighth.

Murton added an RBI double and Yamato Maeda a three-run triple in the ninth.

Yoshinori Sato (5-6) took the loss. Norichika Aoki drove in two runs for Yakult.

BayStars 8, Giants 7

At Yokohama Stadium, Brett Harper capped his four-hit afternoon with a game-ending grand slam with one out in the ninth inning as Yokohama beat Yomiuri.

Trailing 7-4 in the ninth, the BayStars loaded the bases on a single and a pair of walks before Harper cleared the right-center wall off Marc Kroon (2-2).

Terrmel Sledge homered and finished with two RBIs. Yuji Hata (1-0) won his season debut with a scoreless ninth.

The Giants went ahead 7-3 with a seven-run sixth, highlighted by Shinnosuke Abe’s two-run homer and Hisayoshi Chono’s solo shot.

Dragons 6, Carp 0


Hawks 4, Buffaloes 2

At Kyocera Dome, Hiroki Kokubo hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the sixth inning as Softbank downed Orix for its fourth straight win.

Kokubo put Softbank up 3-2 with a single off Kazuki Kondo (4-6). Nobuhiro Matsuda added a homer, his second in three games, in the seventh.

Yang Yao-xun (1-0) allowed two runs on six hits in five innings for his second career win. Takahiro Mahara earned his 19th save. Orix lost its fourth straight game.

Eagles 3, Fighters 2

At Kleenex Stadium, Satoshi Nagai threw one-run ball over seven innings and Takeshi Yamasaki and Todd Linden both homered as Tohoku Rakuten beat Hokkaido Nippon Ham.

Nagai (5-7) allowed five hits, struck out seven and walked two for his first win since June 9.

Yamasaki and Linden hit solo homers in the second inning. Teppei Tsuchiya doubled in a run in the third.

Marines 9, Lions 1