Eiichi Koyano broke an 11th-inning tie with his second home run of the game as the Orix Buffaloes overcame a two-run deficit to beat the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 3-2 in the Pacific League on Tuesday evening.
Koyano, who led the PL in RBIs in 2010, drove a high 2-0 fastball from right-hander Kenji Tomura (0-3) into the seats in left to give the visitors their first lead of the game. Koyano hit his first homer of the season in the seventh after the Eagles had taken a 2-0 lead in their home game at Tokyo Dome.
Second-year right-hander Kazumasa Yoshida surrendered a two-out single but held on to record his first save.
Side-arming Rakuten southpaw Takahiro Shiomi changed speeds and located well to hold the Buffaloes to one run on five hits over 6-1/3 innings, while Orix right-hander Brandon Dickson was only slightly less effective.
Dickson allowed two runs on seven hits and four walks, while striking out four. The Eagles had little luck when Dickson’s knuckle curve danced and dropped, but his location was not as sharp as he would have liked and his mistakes cost him.
Before a crowd of 44,159, the Eagles broke the ice in the third, when Zelous Wheeler plated Ryo Hijirisawa with a one-out single. Hijirisawa latched onto a 2-2 fastball on the inside part of the plate and drove it into the gap in right for a one-out double. Dickson left a 1-2 breaking ball up in the zone and Wheeler bounced it over the mound and into center.
Another breaking ball, this one floating up in the zone, helped get the Eagles started in the fourth. Jonny Gomes ripped Dickson’s first pitch of the inning for a single. Former Buffalo Mitsutaka Goto lined a fastball down the left-field line for a double with Gomes just beating the throw to third.
With the infield in and the game in danger of getting away, Dickson worked the next two batters carefully, busting both inside. After a groundout that left the runners in place, leadoff man Hiroaki Shimauchi put a good swing on a low 2-1 fastball and somehow managed to lift it to deep center for a sacrifice fly.
Shiomi appeared to be cruising until the seventh. He missed up and over the plate with a 1-0 fastball and Koyano put good wood on it.
After Dickson worked around a single and a walk in the bottom of the seventh, Orix tied it in the top of the eighth against right-hander Hiroyuki Fukuyama.
The Eagles set-up man hit pinch hitter Brian Bogusevic to open the eighth. A sacrifice and a groundout put the tying run at third with two outs for Yoshio Itoi. On a 2-2 count, Itoi looked like he was trying to foul off a low-inside pitch, but hit a hard bouncer off Koji Aoyama’s glove for an RBI infield single.
Brent Morel followed with a sharp single to right, and Koyano barreled up an 0-1 pitch but lined out to Goto at second.
Fighters 1, Lions 0
At Sapporo Dome, Kensuke Kondo’s first-inning home run made the difference as Nippon Ham lefty Mitsuo Yoshikawa (3-1) worked seven innings to outduel Seibu ace Takayuki Kishi (2-2).
Hawks 2, Marines 1
Tigers 8, Swallows 4
Carp 6, BayStars 4 (12)
Dragons at Giants — ppd.
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