Giants overcome strong effort by Fighters star Otani


Yasuyuki Kataoka singled in the winning run in the top of the 10th inning as the Yomiuri Giants beat the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 2-1 in interleague action on Wednesday.

The Giants scored one run off double-duty Shohei Otani, who hit 160 kph on the radar gun for the second straight game. The right-hander allowed four hits and two walks, while striking out six before leaving with a leg cramp after 6⅓ innings. Otani, who also plays right field for the Fighters, batted seventh and went 0-for-2.

Juan Miranda tied it in the bottom of the seventh with a solo homer off Giants starter Kan Otake, who also allowed one run in 6⅓ innings.

Luis Lopez got things started in the 10th inning against Fighters closer Hirotoshi Masui (3-4) with a one-out single. A force out moved pinch runner Tetsuya Matsumoto to third. With two outs and runners on the corners, Masui left a 1-0 slider up in the zone and Kataoka slapped it between third and short to plate the go-ahead run.

“I figured they’d pitch to me, and wanted to be aggressive if I got a fat pitch,” Kataoka said. “I wasn’t trying to do too much, just keep things going.”

A big defensive play in the bottom of the 10th helped seal the game for the Giants. Miranda opened the inning against lefty relief star Tetsuya Yamaguchi by pounding a low-liner toward right, but first baseman Daisuke Nakai intercepted it with a sparkling catch for the first out.

Swallows 1, Eagles 0

At Sendai’s Kobo Stadium Miyagi, lefty Masanori Ishikawa (4-4) never let an opposing batter get as far as third base as he tossed a four-hitter for his second shutout of the season. Tokyo Yakult scored the decisive run in the first inning, when Tetsuto Yamada belted a leadoff homer off Rakuten starter Takashi Kawai (1-4).

Dragons 7, Hawks 4

At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Masahiko Morino’s two-out, bases-loaded double drove in three runs in the seventh inning as Chunichi came from behind to beat Softbank and snap a 13-game losing streak in interleague games at the Hawks’ home park.

Buffaloes 8, BayStars 5

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Yuki Nishi (9-2) allowed one run in six innings, and Shunta Goto iced the game for Pacific League-leading Orix with a pinch-hit grand slam in the bottom of the eighth.

Yokohama’s Cuban infielder Yuliesky Gurriel hit his first homer in Japan in the top of the eighth inning.

Marines 8, Tigers 3

At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Toshiaki Imae’s two-run double highlighted a three-run third inning off Hanshin youngster Shintaro Fujinami (4-4), while Lotte starter Takahiro Fujioka (4-2) allowed three hits in seven scoreless innings to collect the win.