NISHINOMIYA, HYOGO PREF. – Tetsuto Yamada snapped a seventh-inning tie with his second RBI double and the Central League-leading Tokyo Yakult Swallows tacked on two more runs in a 5-2 win Monday over the Hanshin Tigers, who fell two games off the pace.
Yamada, who went 3-for-4 with a walk, opened the scoring in the third inning when he plated Shingo Kawabata with a two-out RBI double off Tigers starter Shintaro Fujinami. With the score tied 2-2 in the seventh, one-out singles by Tsuyoshi Ueda and Kawabata off Yuya Ando set the table and Yamada broke the tie with his league-leading 37th double.
“We have a lot of games we can’t afford to lose, so we are under pressure,” Yamada said. “It takes a toll on you physically and mentally, but you just have to go out and do your best. That being said, I don’t feel it at bat: I try not to think too much and just put the best swing I can on the ball.”
Ando (5-4) walked the bases loaded before missing on a 3-2 pitch to Wladimir Balentien that pushed across a run. Yuhei Takai, whose fourth-inning homer gave Yakult a brief lead, delivered a sacrifice fly that capped the three-run rally.
Mauro Gomez hit his 17th home run in the fourth inning off Swallows rookie Toshihiro Sugiura to tie it. It was his third homer in three games.
Giants 4, Dragons 0
At Nagoya Dome, lefty Kazuto Taguchi (3-5) worked 5⅓ solid innings and four relievers completed the shutout as Yomiuri beat Chunichi behind an RBI double from Hisayoshi Chono and a three-run home run from Yasuyuki Kataoka.
Carp 3, BayStars 2
At Mazda Stadium, Hiroshima snapped a three-game losing streak behind Kris Johnson (13-7), who allowed two runs in seven innings. Yoshiyuki Ishihara doubled and scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, when Ryosuke Kikuchi drove him in for the second time in a win over Yokohama.
Lions 7, Buffaloes 0
At Seibu Prince Dome, Ken Togame (10-7) worked seven innings and reserve infielder Naoto Watanabe spearheaded Seibu’s 13-hit attack with four hits, including a second-inning single that brought home the first run in a win over Orix. The Lions’ win snapped a five-game losing streak.
Marines 10, Eagles 4
At QVC Marine Field, Takashi Ogino went 4-for-4 with three runs and two RBIs to pace Chiba Lotte past Tohoku Rakuten as the Marines stayed within one game of the third-place Lions for the PL’s final playoff spot.
Hawks 6, Fighters 2
At Sapporo Dome, Jason Standridge (10-6) allowed two runs over seven innings and Seiichi Uchikawa singled home the opening run in a three-run first inning as Fukuoka Softbank beat Hokkaido Nippon Ham.
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