The Tokyo Yakult Swallows scored five runs in the eighth inning as they secured a 5-2 come-from-behind win over the Hiroshima Carp on Wednesday in the Central League.
Two singles and a fielder’s choice loaded the bases to force Hiroshima’s Yusuke Nomura (4-2) off the mound, and pinch hitter Takahiro Imanami tied the game at 2-2 with a two-run double to right off reliever Jay Jackson.
“I just became more daring (in the situation),” Imanami said. “I blame my lack of power (for not hitting a home run), I thought it went in but the wind got it back.”
Poor fielding from third baseman Shota Dobayashi off Shingo Kawabata’s one-out mishit allowed the go-ahead run to score.
Tetsuto Yamada followed with an RBI single off a 2-1 fastball before Wladimir Balentien also singled in a run off Takeru Imamura for his team’s fifth run.
“I just wanted to plate one more, whether it be a sac fly or anything,” Yamada said. “I was behind in the count so I shortened my grip and hung in there.”
Nomura, who looked to be heading for a shutout after allowing just three hits in seven innings, gave up five hits in the end over seven-plus innings while striking out four.
Yakult’s Masanori Ishikawa (4-4) allowed the Carp to go ahead after just five pitches through Ryosuke Kikuchi’s RBI single and gave up one more in the first with a sac fly, but earned the win after throwing seven shutout innings from thereon. He struck out five and issued one walk.
Giants 3, Tigers 1
At Nishinomiya’s Koshien Stadium, Kazuto Taguchi (2-1) held Hanshin to a run over six-plus innings. Hayato Sakamoto hit a solo shot off Randy Messenger (4-2) in the first inning before Yomiuri added two more in the third through RBI singles from Ryota Wakiya and Garrett Jones.
BayStars 2, Dragons 0
At Yokohama Stadium, Kenta Ishida (3-1) blanked Chunichi over seven innings on three hits. Jose Lopez’s sac fly in the second and wild pitch from Daisuke Yamai (0-5) in the fifth handed Yokohama its runs. The Dragons winning streak came to an end after four.
Hawks 9, Marines 5
At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, SoftBank won its eighth straight after Kenta Imamiya’s solo homer and Yuya Hasegawa’s three-run shot in the first off Chiba Lotte’s Kota Futaki (2-4) got the PL leader on its way.
The Marines hit three home runs in the eighth but to no avail.
Eagles 8, Lions 3
At Sendai’s Kobo Stadium Miyagi, Eigoro Mogi handed Tohoku Rakuten the lead for good in the second by blasting his first career homer, a three-run shot off Seibu’s Isamu Sato (0-1) who took the first loss of his four-year career.
Manabu Mima (4-0) earned the win after giving up two runs in five innings.
Fighters 6, Buffaloes 2
At Tokyo Dome, Shohei Otani slugged a two-run shot in the third after Sho Nakata also went deep for two runs in the first off Orix’s Daiki Tomei (1-4), helping Hokkaido Nippon Ham return to .500.