SAPPORO – Daikan Yoh hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the sixth inning as the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters edged the Seibu Lions 4-3 in the Pacific League on Thursday.
Yoh, who made his first start since April 9 following a left-ankle injury, as a designated hitter, had two strikeouts against Seibu starter Yusei Kikuchi (1-3) but hit one over the center-field wall to make it 4-2 after Brandon Laird reached on a flare with one out.
Anthony Bass (1-3) picked up his first win in Japan after allowing three runs on four hits, three walks and a hit batter over 6⅓ innings at Sapporo Dome, with manager Hideki Kuriyama winning his 300th game in charge.
“I was troubling my team with the injury and I’m grateful to the manager for using me from the start,” Yoh said. “I wanted to give Bass the first win too.”
Bass said, “I’m happy to get the first win in the books. Everyone on the bench was excited (with Yoh’s home run) and I really think that changed the game.”
Kikuchi issued two walks in the first and Hideto Asamura’s throwing error with two outs handed the Fighters the lead. They added another in the second, again with two outs, as Shota Ono singled before Haruki Nishikawa tripled on the first pitch off Kikuchi.
Seibu tied in the fourth through Ernesto Mejia’s second two-run shot in as many games. After going 3-for-4 for six RBIs a day earlier, Mejia tied the game with his only hit as he blasted Bass’ 3-1 slider over the left-field wall after Takeya Nakamura was hit by a pitch with one out.
Kikuchi, who came off the mound after closing out the sixth following Yoh’s shot, allowed four runs, three earned, on six hits and four walks, striking out nine.
Bass gave up a single to Yuji Onizaki in the seventh and was got the hook after recording the first out of the inning.
Seibu scored a run as Shogo Akiyama singled to put runners on the corners before Asamura hit a sacrifice fly off Keisuke Tanimoto, but Akiyama was tagged at second for the third out.
Buffaloes at Eagles — no game
Hawks at Marines — ppd.
Swallows at Tigers — ppd.
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