Giants closer Hirokazu Sawamura gave up ninth-inning game-tying solo home run as Yomiuri played to a 1-1, 12-inning tie against the Yokohama BayStars in the Central League on Friday.
Yokohama pinch hitter Tomo Otosaka led off the ninth with a homer to prevent Yomiuri starter Tomoyuki Sugano, who had thrown two straight shutouts heading into the game, from winning his fourth straight decision.
Sugano threw seven shutout innings to run his scoreless streak to 26 consecutive innings. He struck out six, while giving up two hits without a walk in an 89-pitch outing.
Rookie Shota Imanaga, the BayStars’ No. 1 draft pick last October, allowed the Giants to break through with two outs in the fifth. Shuichi Murata golfed a low-inside slider off the left-field wall for a double and scored when Seiji Kobayashi doubled to right. In his previous at-bat, Imanaga had fooled the Giants catcher badly when he struck him out on a nifty change-up out of the zone, but this time the lefty hung one up and over the outside part of the plate and Kobayashi hammered it.
Imanaga allowed a run on six hits in seven innings. He threw 101 pitches and also struck out six. He was taken off the hook for the loss by Otosaka’s homer.
Yokohama had a chance to score the decisive run in the 10th. With runners on first and second and two outs, Toshihiko Kuramoto grounded a ball between first and second off Tetsuya Yamaguchi. Giants second baseman Yasuyuki Kataoka, however, made a super effort to keep the ball in the infield and the Giants ran down James Romak after he overran third base.
Dragons 11, Swallows 6
At Nagoya Dome, Tokyo Yakult clawed back from a four-run deficit in the top of the third, but Chunichi’s Shota Sugiyama hit an RBI single and Masahiro Araki singled in two runs in the bottom of the inning to seize the lead for good.
Ryosuke Hirata homered and had three RBIS as the Dragons won their fourth straight.
Tigers 12, Carp 9
Eagles 8, Lions 7
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