Swallows stretch winning streak to nine


Kazuhiro Hatakeyama hit his fourth home run in as many games and Shohei Tateyama went the distance Thursday as the Tokyo Yakult Swallows routed the Hiroshima Carp 8-1 to extend their winning streak to nine games.

Hatakeyama connected off Giancarlo Alvarado (3-6) for a two-run homer, his 20th of the season, to give the Swallows a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning at Mazda Stadium.

Tateyama (10-2) reached double-digit wins for the fourth straight season.

The right-hander allowed just five hits, struck out six and walked none in a 107-pitch outing.

“I threw a lot of changeups because I found out that pitch was working well against them,” Tateyama said. “Hatakeyama has really come through in the clutch. The team has gained momentum in September, and I’m glad I’ve been part of it.”

Central League leader Yakult has won 12 of its 13 games in September. Wladimir Balentien had three doubles and drove in three runs for the Swallows.

Hiroshima has lost five straight and eight of its last nine games.

BayStars 6, Giants 5

At Yokohama Stadium, Yoshitomo Tsutsugo and Tatsuya Shimozono homered and drove in three runs apiece as the BayStars won the rubber game of a three-game series against Yomiuri.

Tsutsugo went deep for a two-run shot in the third inning among his three hits. Shimozono hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the fifth off Yasunari Takagi (1-3).

BayStars starter Shigeru Kaga (3-1) allowed two runs in six innings. Hisayoshi Chono went 4-for-5 with four RBIs for the Giants.

Dragons 3, Tigers 1

At Koshien Stadium, Kazuki Yoshimi threw eight innings of one-run ball to win his sixth consecutive start, leading Chunichi over Hanshin.

Yoshimi (14-3) had a shutout until Tomoaki Kanemoto homered in the eighth on his way to joining Yomiuri Giants lefty Tetsuya Utsumi as the only CL pitchers with 14 wins.

The Dragons built a 3-0 lead on an RBI groundout from Tony Blanco in the fourth and a two-run throwing error by pitcher Minoru Iwata (7-12) in the fifth.


Hawks 5, Lions 5 (9)

At Fukuoka’s Yahoo Dome, Softbank blew an early 4-0 lead and played out a nine-inning tie with Seibu.

Nobuhiro Matsuda hit a three-run home run for the Hawks in the first off Yusei Kikuchi, who lasted only 3 1/3 innings.

Buffaloes 5, Eagles 4 (10)

At Kobe’s Hotto Motto Field, Shogo Akada singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning as Orix outlasted Tohoku Rakuten.

Lee Seung Yeop hit a two-run homer to tie the game at 4-4 in the sixth for the Buffaloes.