Hawks stretch winning streak to five games


Nobuhiro Matsuda hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the fourth inning and left-hander Hiroki Yamada held the damage to a minimum as Pacific League-leading Fukuoka Softbank stretched its winning streak to five games in the Hawks’ 3-1 win over the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters on Tuesday.

Matsuda took lefty reliever Masahiro Inui (0-1) for a ride over the center field wall, breaking a 1-1 tie for a 3-1 lead at Yahoo Dome.

Yamada (1-1) gave up one run on five hits in seven innings before handing the game over to Masahiko Morifuku for a scoreless eighth and Brian Falkenborg, who shut the door in the ninth for his sixth save.

The Fighters saw their winning streak end at four games.

Lions 4, Eagles 0

At Koshien Stadium, Hideto Asamura hit a solo homer on a 2-for-4 night, Takayuki Kishi (2-0) went 7 2/3 scoreless innings, and Seibu snapped a four-game skid with a win over Tohoku Rakuten.

Asamura went deep to left off Takahiro Shiomi (1-1) in the second, and Seibu added RBI hits from Tomohito Yoneno and Takumi Kuriyama in the fourth before scoring the fourth run on a wild pitch in the seventh.

Marines 2, Buffaloes 1

At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Tadahito Iguchi broke a scoreless deadlock with a two-out solo drive in the sixth inning and Josh Whitesell added insurance with an RBI single in the eighth as Chiba Lotte held off Orix to stop its losing streak at three games.

Lotte starter Seth Greisinger (2-0) yielded two runs in eight strong innings, striking out six and walking two. Yuki Nishi (1-1) took the loss.


Tigers 10, Carp 2

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Hanshin batted around in a four-run third inning in support of Randy Messenger, and Craig Brazell, Takahiro Arai and Takashi Toritani drove in seven runs between them in the Tigers’ season-high 15-hit onslaught against the hosts.

Messenger (1-0) surrendered two runs and seven hits in seven innings.

Hiroshima’s Kan Otake (1-1) was ejected in the second inning for throwing at catcher Akihito Fujii as the Carp saw their winning streak end at six games.

Swallows 2, BayStars 1 (10)

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Hiroyasu Tanaka hit a tiebreaking walk-off double in the 10th inning, lifting Tokyo Yakult over lowly Yokohama for its third straight win.

Tanaka doubled off Shun Yamaguchi (0-1) to right-center with one out and a runner on second for the game winner. Takehiko Oshimoto (3-0) won in relief. The BayStars lost their sixth in a row.