Yamai guides Dragons past Swallows, into first place


Daisuke Yamai pitched three-hit ball over eight scoreless innings and Takuya Asao finished off the relay as the Chunichi Dragons edged the Tokyo Yakult Swallows 1-0 to take over first place in the Central League on Tuesday.

Yamai (1-3) struck out seven while walking none. Asao worked the ninth for his first save of the season.

Kazuhiro Wada had an RBI single to give Chunichi the lead with two outs in the third inning at Toyohashi Stadium.

The Swallows were shut out on three hits in their second straight game.

Tigers 8, Carp 6

At Niigata’s Hard Off Eco Stadium in Niigata, Takashi Toritani hit a tiebreaking two-run home run off Kam Mickolio (1-3) in the eighth inning, lifting Hanshin past Hiroshima.

Kazuya Tsutsui (1-0) got the win in relief. Nick Stavinoha belted three homers in three consecutive at-bats but the Carp’s pitching was shaky throughout.

Giants 7, BayStars 7 (9)

At Utsunomiya’s Kiyohara Stadium, Yokohama overcame a 6-0 deficit, Alex Ramirez hitting an RBI single and capped off by Yuki Yoshimura’s game-tying double in the ninth inning to play out a tie against Yomiuri.

John Bowker hit a solo drive for his first homer run in Japan in the sixth for the Giants.


Fighters 9, Marines 7

At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, pinch hitter Micah Hoffpauir belted a three-run homer as Hokkaido Nippon Ham batted around in an eight-run sixth inning against starter Seth Greisinger, ending Chiba Lotte’s undefeated streak at four games.

Kazuhito Tadano (2-0) limited the damage to two runs, allowing seven hits in six innings of work.

Greisinger (3-1) was tagged for seven runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings — his previously league-leading 0.31 ERA at game time bloating to 2.08.

Lions 2, Eagles 1

At Sendai’s Kleenex Stadium, Takumi Kuriyama had a game-tying single in the fifth inning, and Esteban German delivered a go-ahead double in the sixth as Seibu held off Tohoku Rakuten.

Kazuhisa Makita (2-3) allowed one run over the distance. Wataru Karashima (1-1) took the loss.

Buffaloes 3, Hawks 2

At Kobe’s Hotto Motto Field, Chihiro Kaneko held Fukuoka Softbank to two runs and eight hits in seven innings in his comeback from an injured lower back, and Orix rallied from a 0-2 deficit with a three-run fifth.

Kaneko (1-0) struck out seven and walked one. Mamoru Kishida picked up his eighth save.

Lee Dae Ho and Aarom Baldiris had back-to-back RBI singles to tie it before Hiroki Yamada’s wild pitch scored the go-ahead run.