Ramirez leads Giants out of slump


Alex Ramirez hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the sixth inning as the Yomiuri Giants beat the Yokohama BayStars 8-2 on Saturday to snap a four-game losing streak.

Ramirez sent an 0-1 fastball from Shogo Yamamoto (1-2) over the center-field wall, giving Yomiuri the lead for good at 4-2 at Yokohama Stadium.

Yoshiyuki Kamei’s pinch-hit, two-run double made it 6-2 in the eighth before Hisayoshi Chono added a two-run homer in the ninth.

Jonathan Albaladejo (1-0) picked up his first win in Japan after working two scoreless innings in relief.

“I was looking for something in the strike zone,” Ramirez said. “He gave me a good pitch to hit, and I was able to drive the ball the other way.”

The Venezuelan slugger batted cleanup for the 415th consecutive game in a Giants uniform, tying Hideki Matsui’s club record.

“It’s a blessing from God to be able to accomplish something like this. I’m glad we won today. It was a pretty good game for us. Hopefully from now on, we continue winning.”

Brett Harper drove in both Yokohama runs with a single in the first and a sacrifice fly in the third. The BayStars have lost four of their last five games.

Tigers 6, Swallows 2

At Koshien Stadium, Kenji Johjima hit a three-run double in the first inning and Randy Messenger (1-0) allowed two runs in 5⅔ innings, leading Hanshin over Yakult.

Takahiro Arai added a solo home run in the third off Tatsuyoshi Masubuchi (1-1). Josh Whitesell went 3-for-5 with an RBI for Tokyo Yakult.

Dragons 5, Carp 4

At Nagoya Dome, Kazuhiro Wada broke a 4-4 tie with an RBI double in the eighth inning as Chunichi defeated Hiroshima.

Chunichi backup catcher Keiji Oyama hit a three-run homer in the second. Hiroshima tied the game with a four-run fifth.


Marines 1, Hawks 0

At QVC Marine Field, Bill Murphy outdueled Toshiya Sugiuchi with 8⅓ shutout innings as Chiba Lotte edged Softbank for its fourth win in five games.

Murphy (1-1) scattered seven hits before Yasuhiko Yabuta escaped a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the ninth for his fourth save. Yoshifumi Okada doubled in the game’s only run in the seventh off Sugiuchi (0-1).

Fighters 9, Lions 6

At Sapporo Dome, Atsunori Inaba hit a game-tying three-run homer in the fifth inning and Shota Ono had a go-ahead solo blast in the sixth as Hokkaido Nippon Ham overcame a five-run deficit to beat Seibu.

Eagles 3, Buffaloes 1

At Kleenex Stadium, Motohiro Shima delivered a tiebreaking double in the second inning, Darrell Rasner (2-1) allowed one run in 5⅓ innings and Tohoku Rakuten downed Orix.