Giants beat Dragons to end losing streak


Chris Seddon returned from minor league exile on Friday evening and threw 5⅓ sharp innings for the Yomiuri Giants, who beat the Chunichi Dragons 6-3 to snap a four-game losing streak.

With good command of his fastball and changeup, Seddon (3-3) held the Dragons to a run on four hits as they repeatedly hit the ball into Tokyo Dome’s artificial grass. Seddon struck out five and issued one walk en route to his first win since April 23. It was his first game for the Central League leaders since May 18.

“It’s a confidence booster, especially since these guys were in a losing streak, showing the manager, showing the rest of the guys I can give you a solid game,” Seddon said.

“Down in the minor leagues I was working on getting my timing and my mechanics and to get my confidence back in myself. I was able to take that out there and do pretty well.”

Shuichi Murata homered in the second to give Seddon a 1-0 lead, while Hayato Sakamoto hit a third-inning, RBI single and a fifth-inning, three-run home run.

Dragons starter Yudai Ono (6-6), had good command of his fastball but threw Murata a cookie with one out in the second. The right-handed-hitting slugger launched a high, hanging slider into the stands in left field for a solo home run.

Sakamoto took advantage of another Ono breaking ball in the third to make it 2-0. With Hisayoshi Chono on second with one out, Sakamoto smashed a high 1-0 slider into center for an RBI single.

Sakamoto gave Seddon more breathing room with his three-run homer in the fifth. Chono reached on a one-out single and Itaru Hashimoto walked to set the table. Ono moved Sakamoto off the plate with a first-pitch fastball inside, then tried going outside.

But his fastball came in high and straight, and Sakamoto got enough of it to reach the seats in left-center.

Dragons leadoff man Yohei Oshima drove Seddon’s first pitch of the sixth into the stands in right to get Chunichi on the board, and the lefty walked the next batter he faced on four pitches.

After a wild pitch moved the runner to second, a superb catch by 39-year-old Yoshinobu Takahashi against the wall in left field prevented another run from scoring.

Yuya Kubo relieved Seddon and got out of the inning unscathed before Takahashi led off the bottom of the sixth with his fourth homer of the season.

Ono remained over eight innings, despite allowing six runs through the first six. He yielded 11 hits and a walk, while striking out four in a 121-pitch effort.

Yuki Egarashi, the Giants’ fourth pitcher, loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth, but lefty Tetsuya Yamaguchi bailed him out.

Right-hander Mizuki Tsuchida created a save situation by giving up a leadoff single and a two-run, pinch-hit home run to Ryosuke Hirata. Closer Scott Mathieson retired all three batters he faced to record his 19th save.

“He (Seddon) pitched well,” Giants manager Tatsunori Hara said. “You do that and it’s normal to earn another start, but he’s been good against teams he’s faced for the first time but not the next. The next time will be a test for him.”

Tigers 7, Carp 5

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Kosuke Fukudome broke a 3-3 tie in the sixth inning with a solo homer off Hiroshima ace Kenta Maeda (9-5) and Hanshin went on to win behind right-hander Shintaro Fujinami (8-4), who allowed three runs — one earned — in seven innings.

Swallows 12, BayStars 3

At Yokohama Stadium, Kazuhiro Hatakeyama and Tetsuto Yamada each hit three-run homers in a seven-run third inning, and Tokyo Yakult had 16 hits, extending its franchise record for consecutive games with 10 or more hits to nine. The Swallows snapped a nine-game losing skid against Yokohama.


Hawks 7, Fighters 2

At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Lee Dae-ho broke a 1-1 tie with a third-inning, RBI single, and right-hander Tadashi Settsu (8-4) went seven innings as league-leading Softbank beat Hokkaido Nippon Ham and won its sixth straight. It was also the team’s Japanese baseball-leading 60th win of the season.

Lions 9, Marines 5

At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Ernesto Mejia went 3-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs and singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth as Seibu won a see-saw game to snap Chiba Lotte’s five-game winning streak.