NISHINOMIYA, HYOGO PREF. – Minoru Iwata allowed one unearned run over seven solid innings, leading the surging Hanshin Tigers to their sixth straight win in a 3-1 victory over the Hiroshima Carp on Tuesday night.
The third-place Tigers moved within one game of second-place Hiroshima.
Iwata (6-3) yielded four hits, struck out two and walked one in front of a crowd of 32,637 at Koshien Stadium.
Hiroshima rookie Daichi Osera (6-4) took the loss after giving up three runs and seven hits in 3-2/3 innings.
Iwata helped his own cause with an RBI single that opened the scoring with two outs in the second and Kosuke Fukudome contributed with a run-scoring single in the third as part of the 15-hit attack. Rookie catcher Ryutaro Umeno led off the fourth with a blast to left-center for his first home run at Koshien.
“I was ahead in the count so I tried to put a good swing on it. Iwata-san did his best to get out of trouble so I was glad I could give him support,” Umeno said.
Swallows 5, Dragons 4
At Jingu Stadium, Tetsuto Yamada homered twice, featuring a two-out solo drive in the fifth inning, and Wataru Hiyane delivered a two-run go-ahead double off Takuya Asao (1-1) in the seventh as Tokyo Yakult rallied to beat Chunichi.
The Dragons lost their fifth in a row.
Giants at BayStars — ppd.
Eagles 12, Fighters 5
At Sendai’s Kobo Stadium, Tohoku Rakuten erupted with a sixth-run first inning featuring Tetsuro Nishida’s three-run clout and the Eagles steamrolled in a 16-hit onslaught to rout Masaru Takeda (2-4) and Hokkaido Nippon Ham.
Kazuo Matsui was 4-for-4 with three runs scored and Motohiro Shima had five RBIs among his three hits.
Buffaloes 7, Hawks 5
At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Takahiro Okada hit a solo homer and Esteban German had a two-run double to key a five-run second inning against Jason Standridge (6-4) as Orix held off Fukuoka Softbank to regain first place.
Yuki Nishi (11-3) won despite allowing five runs in 5-1/3 innings.
The Hawks slipped into second place.
Lions 5, Marines 4 (12)
At Seibu Dome, Shogo Akiyama tied it up with an RBI double in the bottom of the 12th after Chiba Lotte had gone ahead in the top of the inning and Naoto Watanabe delivered the game-winner with another RBI double as Seibu edged the Marines to win its third straight.