Yokohama’s Gurriel breaks loose in Japan debut


Cuba’s Yulieski Gurriel went 3-for-4 with two runs scored in his Japan debut as the Yokohama BayStars rallied to beat the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 5-1 on Sunday afternoon.

Shun Yamaguchi (2-1) tossed one-run ball and yielded four hits over eight innings to win his second start since switching from the closer’s role last season.

Gurriel sparked the rally with a two-out single in the third off Travis Blackley (1-2) for his first hit since arriving last month from Cuba, which has lifted a ban on its athletes playing overseas.

Tony Blanco followed with a game-tying RBI double and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo smashed a two-run homer to straight away center for a 3-1 lead in front of a crowd of 22,400 at Yokohama Stadium.

Gourriel, who was batting fifth and grounded out to short in his first at-bat, also doubled down the left-field line in the fifth and singled to center in the seventh. The Eagles suffered their fourth loss in a row.

Giants 8, Marines 1

At Tokyo Dome, Yuki Koyama pitched one-run ball in his first career complete game, Shuichi Murata went 3-for-4 with five RBIs and Yomiuri routed Chiba Lotte to take over first place in the Central League. Frederich Cepeda hit his fourth homer, a solo shot in the eighth.

Buffaloes 8, Carp 1

At Mazda Stadium, slumping Hiroshima lost its fifth straight in a defeat to Orix and tumbled out of first place in the CL for the first time since April 10. Esteban German went 4-for-5 with a solo blast off Bryan Bullington (7-5) as Orix won its third in a row.

Swallows 9, Lions 5

At Jingu Stadium, Tokyo Yakult capitalized on consecutive bases-loaded walks to overturn a 3-2 deficit in a five-run sixth inning, which featured three straight RBI singles from Ryosuke Morioka, Yuhei Nakamura and Masayoshi Miwa, in the Swallows’ win over Seibu.

Fighters 6, Dragons 0

At Nagoya Dome, Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s Naoyuki Uwasawa (6-3) got the job done by pitching one-hit ball over seven innings and two relievers held Chunichi scoreless the rest of the way. Kenta Asakura (3-3) yielded five earned runs in 5⅔ innings of the loss.

Tigers 14, Hawks 8

At Koshien Stadium, Takashi Toritani cracked a two-run homer in a 3-for-4 outing to contribute to Hanshin’s 18-hit onslaught in a victory over Fukuoka Softbank. Lee Dae-ho had four hits and a walk and drove in four runs for the Hawks, but it wasn’t nearly enough.