TOKOROZAWA, SAITAMA PREF. – Ken Togame (8-7) scattered seven hits and two walks over six innings as the Seibu Lions defeated the Chiba Lotte Marines 7-6 and leapfrogged them into third place in the Pacific League standings on Friday.
Before 20,506 at Seibu Prince Dome, the game appeared easily in hand until Lotte sent 10 men to the plate in a five-run ninth. The win lifted Seibu a half-game ahead of the Marines in the battle for the PL’s third and final playoff spot.
Shogo Akiyama, Takeya Nakamura and Hideto Asai each hit an RBI double off the club’s former ace, Hideaki Wakui, in a four-run third inning. Togame then protected his lead by pitching out of jams in the fourth and sixth. The only run he allowed came in the fifth, when Luis Cruz opened the inning with his 15th home run.
The Lions appeared to ice the game in the seventh, when an error and a wild pitch helped put one run on the board, while Nakamura doubled in two more.
Wakui (10-8) worked six-plus innings and was charged with seven runs — six earned — on seven hits, two walks and a hit batsman. The right-hander struck out three in his former home ballpark.
With a six-run lead, demoted former Seibu closer Tomomi Takahashi was sent to close it out, but the lefty surrendered five runs on four hits and a walk without retiring a batter. With no outs and the bases loaded, Tadahito Iguchi’s pinch-hit single brought in two. Takashi Ogino’s single drove Takahashi from the mound, and captain Daichi Suzuki then singled off southpaw Shota Takekuma.
A good play by left fielder Shogo Saito accounted for the first out as he robbed Ikuhiro Kiyota of an RBI double. Naoto Watanabe’s diving stop at third base got the second out and prevented another run. Kazuya Fukuura singled in another run, but the Marines were turned back when Katsuya Kakunaka, whose single opened the inning flied out to deep left to end it.
Takekuma earned his first save.
Fighters 5, Buffaloes 4 (10)
Hawks at Eagles — ppd.
Tigers 3, BayStars 2
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Ryutaro Umeno cracked open the scoring with a two-run, second-inning double and Minoru Iwata (7-6) allowed a run in 7-2/3 innings to earn the win as league-leading Hanshin edged Yokohama.
Dragons 7, Swallows 2
At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, a throwing error by Tokyo Yakult starter Orlando Roman (2-3) allowed Chunichi to tie it, while Hector Luna doubled in the go-ahead run and singled in another in a three-run third.
Dragons starter Drew Naylor (2-1), signed this summer from the independent Shikoku Island League, allowed two runs in 7-2/3 innings.
Giants 4, Carp 3 (11)
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.