NAGOYA – Taiga Egoshi played a starring role as the Hanshin Tigers came from behind to remain tied with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows for first place in the Central League with a 3-2 victory over the Chunichi Dragons on Wednesday.
Egoshi’s solo shot off Shinji Tajima tied the game 2-2 in the seventh, and the 22-year-old’s RBI double off Katsuki Matayoshi (5-4) in the ninth handed Hashin the decisive lead.
“I only had fastball in my mind for the home run, and breaking ball for the one in the ninth. The outfielders were defending shallow and fortunately the ball went over them,” said Egoshi, who struck both blasts on the first pitch.
The Tigers took the lead in the third after two singles off Dragons starter Yuta Muto put runners on the corners with one out, before Hiroki Uemoto grounded out to knock in a run.
Chunichi turned the game around in the fourth, Masahiro Araki leading the inning doubling off Atsushi Nomi and reaching third on a single before the southpaw’s wild pitch brought him home. Anderson Hernandez’s two-out RBI single put the Dragons in front 2-1 before Egoshi’s heroics.
Nomi pitched seven innings and gave up two runs on seven hits, striking out three and walking one. Yuya Ando (3-2) picked up the win after pitching a 1-2-3 eighth.
Chunichi starter Muto gave up a run on five hits in 5-2/3 innings as he struck out three without a walk, but their relievers were unable to hold on and the Dragons succumbed to the sixth straight defeat for the second time this season.
Giants 5, BayStars 3 (10)
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Yoshiyuki Kamei ripped a sayonara two-run homer in the 10th off Yokohama’s Yoslan Herrera as Yomiuri stayed a game behind the Swallows and Tigers in the CL
Tetsuya Utsumi started his second game but still without a win, allowing three runs in 6-1/3 innings.
Swallows 8, Carp 3
At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Wataru Hiyane hit a solo shot off Hiroshima’s Keisuke Imai (0-1) for Tokyo Yakult’s third run before Shingo Kawabata and Tetsuto Yamada struck back-to-back solo shots to put the game to bed in the seventh.
Fighters 9, Buffaloes 0
At Kobe’s Hotto Motto Field, Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s Kohei Arihara (5-4) threw seven shutout innings, holding Orix to six hits.
The Fighters doubled their 2-0 lead in the fifth with Takuya Nakajima’s RBI double and Kensuke Tanaka’s single to knock out the Buffaloes’ Daiki Tomei (5-5), before adding four more in the inning.
Hawks 9, Eagles 2
At Iwate Prefectural Stadium, Fukuoka Softbank’s Yuki Yanagita slugged two homers, a two-run shot off Kenji Tomura (5-6) in the fifth and a solo shot in the ninth, going 4-for-5 and batting in six in total.
Jason Standridge (9-6) held Tohoku Rakuten to two runs over seven innings on four hits.
Marines 8, Lions 1
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Alfredo Despaigne slugged a solo homer in the fourth and had an RBI single in the fifth off Seibu’s Yusei Kikuchi (5-6).
Chiba Lotte added six runs in the eighth, including a grand slam from Tatsuhiro Tamura, to put the game beyond the Lions’ reach.
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