Blanco’s three-run home run ignites Dragons


Slugger Tony Blanco returned to the lineup with a bang and Chen Wei-yin pitched eight crisp innings as the Chunichi Dragons beat the Yomiuri Giants 6-1 on Tuesday for their fifth straight win.

Blanco broke a scoreless tie with a three-run homer in the fourth inning off Seth Greisinger (0-1) at Nagoya Dome.

Chen (10-9) struck out eight and allowed just three hits, including a fifth-inning homer by Edgar Gonzalez.

Central League batting leader Kazuhiro Wada hit a solo home run in the fifth among his three hits.

Carp 2, Swallows 1 (10)

At Mazda Stadium, Eishin Soyogi scored from second on an infield single by Soichiro Amaya, giving Hiroshima a “sayonara” win over Tokyo Yakult.

Yasushi Iihara hit a game-tying solo homer with one out in the top of the ninth.

The Carp snapped a four-game losing streak.

Tigers 12, BayStars 8

At Nagano Olympic Stadium, Craig Brazell hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly and Shunsuke Fujikawa added a three-run homer, his first career home run, in the top of the ninth inning as Hanshin outslugged Yokohama.

Takashi Toritani went 4-for-5 with a homer and two RBIs. Takahiro Arai hit a three-run homer among his three hits for the CL-leading Tigers.

The BayStars got home runs from Seiichi Uchikawa and Terrmel Sledge.


Marines 3, Fighters 2

At Tokyo Dome, Tadahito Iguchi broke a 2-2 tie with a leadoff homer off Bobby Keppel (12-5) in the eighth inning as Hokkaido Nippon Ham edged Chiba Lotte.

Bill Murphy (10-4) pitched two-run ball over seven innings for the win, striking out four and walking six.

Buffaloes 3, Eagles 0

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Chihiro Kaneko threw his sixth shutout of the season in a seven-strikeout effort as Orix blanked Tohoku Rakuten to snap a three-game losing skid.

Kaneko (12-7) walked none in a 123-pitch outing. Alex Cabrera had an RBI double to make it 1-0 in the first and the Buffaloes added two runs in the seventh.

Hawks 5, Lions 4

At Seibu Dome, on a steamy night, Nobuhiro Matsuda had the hottest bat with a 3-for-4 performance, lifting Fukuoka Softbank past front-running Seibu with a tiebreaking triple in the eighth inning.

Matsuda came a double shy of the cycle after singling in the fifth, hitting a solo homer in the seventh and tripling with two outs one inning later.

The Lions’ winning streak ended at eight games.