Swallows snap Giants’ win streak


Tokyo Yakult’s Kyohei Muranaka held Central League-leading Yomiuri to two hits through six innings as the Swallows jolted the Giants 6-1 at Tokyo Dome on Sunday.

Muranaka (6-5) allowed a run in 6⅓ innings on four hits and two walks. The lefty struck out three as the Swallows avoided being swept in three games and handed the Giants their first defeat since Aug. 2. He left the game with one out in the seventh with the bases jammed and the Swallows leading 4-0.

Right-hander Tetsuya Yamamoto gave up a single to pinch hitter Yoshitomo Tani, but prevented the Giants from further closing the gap.

“I got into trouble and I couldn’t get out of it,” Muranaka said. “Next time I want to do better.

“You don’t want to get swept. Hopefully, this result will help us turn this around and we can win a few games.”

The Swallows opened the scoring by manufacturing a third-inning run against right-hander Ryosuke Miyaguni (3-2). Kazuki Fukuchi drew a seven-pitch, two-out walk, stole second and scored on a single by Tsuyoshi Ueda. In the sixth, a perfectly executed squeeze bunt by Hiroyasu Tanaka and a bases-loaded walk by Muranaka made it 3-0.

Tigers 8, Carp 2

At Kyocera Dome, Hanshin’s Ryota Arai went 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBIs in the cleanup spot and his older brother Takahiro hit a three-run homer as the Tigers came from a run down to beat Hiroshima and win for the first time since Aug. 1.

Randy Messenger (6-9) allowed two runs in seven innings to earn the win for the Tigers, while Carp starter Yuya Fukui (2-3) allowed three runs in two-plus innings.

BayStars 10, Dragons 6

At Matsumoto Municipal Stadium, Yokohama’s Norihiro Nakamura drove in four runs, including two on sacrifice flies, while Randy Ruiz and Alex Ramirez hit solo homers as the BayStars twice came from behind to beat Chunichi.

Yokohama tied it 6-6 on four straight no-out singles in the seventh, and Nakamura delivered his first sacrifice fly to give the hosts the lead for good. Yoshitomo Tsutsugo singled in an insurance run and the BayStars tacked on two more runs in the eighth.

Eagles 3, Hawks 3 (9)

At Yahoo Dome, Tohoku Rakuten rallied for two runs in the ninth off Fukuoka Softbank southpaw Masahiko Morifuku as Ryo Hijirisawa singled in the tying run from third with two outs after fouling off five straight pitches.

The game started as a duel between Hawks rookie Shota Takeda, who allowed a run in five-plus innings, and Eagles ace Masahiro Tanaka. The Rakuten right-hander gave up three runs, two earned, in eight innings and was on the hook for the loss until his teammates managed to tie it in dramatic fashion.

Lions 7, Fighters 4

At Seibu Dome, Seibu’s Jose Ortiz broke a second-inning, 1-1 tie with a two-run homer. The Lions widened their lead with a small-ball attack and capped it with a solo shot by Ortiz in the eighth.

Lions rookie Ken Togame (2-0) got the win in relief of starter Kazuhisa Ishii, who allowed four runs, two earned, in 3⅓ innings. Hokkaido Nippon Ham right-hander Kazuhito Tadano (4-3) got roughed up for five runs in two-plus innings.

Buffaloes 5, Marines 1

At QVC Marine Field, Italian international Alessandro Maestri (1-0) allowed a run in 6⅓ innings to earn the win for Orix in his Pacific League debut. The Buffaloes tied it 1-1 in the third on doubles by rookies Takuya Shimada and Takayoshi Kawabata, and took the lead when Takahiro Okada singled home Kawabata.

Maestri, who pitched for Italy in the first two World Baseball Classics and played in the Chicago Cubs organization, allowed four hits and a walk while hitting one batter and striking out five.