First-place Eagles rally past Lions


A trio of former big leaguers led the Pacific League-leading Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles to a come-from-behind, 4-3 victory over the Seibu Lions on Tuesday.

Andruw Jones trimmed the deficit to 3-1, when he led off the fifth inning with his 20th home run. With two outs and two on in the eighth inning, former Milwaukee Brewer Casey McGehee hit his 23rd homer of the season, and former big league All-Star Takashi Saito worked the ninth for his third save.

Left-handed side-armer Norihito Kaneto (1-0), who worked 1 1/3 in relief of starter Kenny Ray, earned his first victory in two years.

Seibu had taken the lead in the second inning on a two-out, three-run double by Yuji Onizaki following a miscue at third base by McGehee.

“It was a complete team win, and I tried my best to screw it up, so I’m just glad I could be a part of it later,” McGehee said.

Lions right-hander Takayuki Kishi left the mound with one out in the eighth after allowing singles to Yoshihito Abe and Eagles batting leader Ginji Akaminai.

Hideaki Wakui (5-7) retired Jones but surrendered McGehee’s homer on an 0-2 pitch.

Fighters 3, Hawks 2

At Tokyo Dome, Taiwan international Yang Dai-kang tied the game with a third-inning single and put Hokkaido Nippon Ham in the lead with another RBI single in the fourth in a win over Fukuoka Softbank.

Rookie pitcher/outfielder Shohei Otani opened the scoring with a first-inning RBI double, while right-hander Hiroshi Kisanuki (9-5) allowed two runs in seven innings to earn the win.

Marines at Buffaloes — ppd.


Tigers 10, BayStars 1

At Yokohama Stadium, Matt Murton opened the onslaught with a two-run, first-inning home run and Hanshin hammered out 15 hits against Yokohama in support of Hirokazu Shiranita (1-0), who earned his first pro win in his starting debut.

The 28-year-old, the Tigers’ top draft choice in 2007, allowed a run in six innings, while Hanshin hit four home runs.

Swallows 3, Giants 3 (12)

At Toyama’s Alpen Stadium, Tokyo Yakult rookie Takeaki Tokuyama stole the show from power-hitting teammate Wladimir Balentien. The right-hander pitched into the seventh inning against Yomiuri, but failed to get his first career win.

Tokuyama left the mound with two men on in the seventh and the bullpen allowed both to score. The Giants tied it against rookie All-Star Taichi Ishiyama in the ninth, when pinch hitter Kenji Yano singled with two outs and the bases loaded.

Balentien went 1-for-3 with a double and remained three home runs shy of Japan’s single-season record of 55.

Dragons at Carp — ppd.