OSAKA – Takashi Toritani went 3-for-5 and drove in three runs as the Central League-leading Hanshin Tigers beat the YokohamaBayStars 7-2 on Saturday.
Toritani broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth, driving in two runs with a two-out, bases-loaded double to deep right off Kazuki Mishima’s first pitch, before he tripled in another in the eighth off Shuichiro Osada to hand the Tigers a commanding 6-2 lead at Kyocera Dome.
“We’ve been playing in a good frame of mind. We’ll take each game at a time,” said Toritani after helping Tigers starter Suguru Iwazaki (3-5) pick up his third straight win.
Kosuke Fukudome plated the first run with one out in the first inning, doubling to the gap in right off Mishima (4-4), before Iwazaki issued his only walk of the game with the bases loaded in the second for the BayStars to tie it with one out.
“The way I gave up a run in the second wasn’t good, I’ll look back at it and make use of it next time,” said the southpaw, who allowed four hits, struck out four and hit a batter over seven innings.
After Toritani made it 3-1,Yokohama first baseman Jose Lopez let in another run in the fourth after fumbling Yamato Maeda’s grounder. Mishima gave up four runs — three earned — on eight hits, fanned six and walked one over six innings.
Iwazaki yielded a solo home run to Aarom Baldiris in the seventh, but Ryota Imanari restored the margin with a one-out, bases-loaded sacrifice fly to the gap in right off BayStars reliever Kota Suda, which was caught by a diving Masashi Kuwahara but couldn’t prevent a runner coming home.
Maeda drew another infield error in the eighth to plate the seventh run for the Tigers, as the BayStars sank season-low nine games below .500.
Carp 2, Giants 1
At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Hirokazu Ibata’s one-out RBI single broke the deadlock for Yomiuri in the eighth, but pinch hitter Brad Eldred immediately turned it around for Hiroshima with a one-out, two-run homer in the bottom off reliever Tetsuya Yamaguchi (3-5).
Yuya Fukui (9-3) scattered six hits over eight innings, striking out two.
Swallows 13, Dragons 2
At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Tokyo Yakult’s Tetsuto Yamada blasted three straight home runs for six runs, tying the NPB record of four straight, having hit one in his last at bats on Friday.
Wataru Hiyane slugged the second pitch off Chunichi’s Tatsuro Hamada (0-1) in the first inning.
Buffaloes 10, Fighters 1
At Tokyo Dome, Katsuki Yamazaki’s two-run single and Yuya Oda’s two-run homer knocked out Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s Yuki Saito (0-2) in the sixth inning.
Orix’s Yuki Nishi (6-4) allowed a run on six hits and struck out seven with one walk in a complete-game effort.
Hawks 7, Eagles 2
At Sendai’s Kobo Stadiumi, Nobuhiro Matsuda ripped a solo shot in the second off Tohoku Rakuten’s Kenny Ray (5-5) and Yuki Yanagita hit a three-run homer off the right-hander in a four-run fifth for Fukuoka Softbank.
Shota Takeda (10-5) allowed a run on eight eights over eight innings, striking out seven.
Marines 9, Lions 5
At Tokorozawa’s Seibu Prince Dome, three straight RBIs from Kazuya Fukuura, Katsuya Kakunaka and Luis Cruz gave Chiba Lotte four runs in the first inning off Seibu’s Ryoma Nogami (7-6).
Ikuhiro Kiyota clobbered a two-run homer off the right-hander in a four-run fourth.
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