NISHINOMIYA, HYOGO PREF. – Randy Messenger held the Seibu Lions to a run over seven innings for his first win in a month as the Hanshin Tigers claimed a 5-1 triumph on Saturday in interleague action.
With his team leading 4-0, Messenger (5-4), who last won on May 5 before suffering three losses, gave up three singles in his final inning and surrendered his only run. He gave up six hits and two walks while fanning 10 before 45,025 at Koshien Stadium.
“I feel great. (Today I could) keep them off balance, mixing everything in,” said Messenger, who threw 122 pitches.” That was the most important thing and the team gave me a lead early. (I) just fed off of that.”
“I got into a little bit of a jam there in the seventh inning, but just held them to one run. The team pulled it out for me, played great defense and came through offensively, so hats off to my teammates.”
Hanshin got to Lions rookie Shinsaburo Tawata (0-2) in the first inning. Takashi Toritani led off with a single and Fumiya Hojo followed suit before Kosuke Fukudome drove in the opening run with another single. Mauro Gomez made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly.
The right-hander then loaded the bases with two walks but got out of the inning with a strikeout.
Tawata surrendered two more runs in the third. A single from Fukudome, who went 3-for-5, and a throwing error by third baseman Yuji Kaneko put two on, before a Shun Takayama single and a Ryota Imanari double handed the home team a comfortable lead.
Tawata allowed four runs — three earned — on eight hits and two walks. He struck out six in four frames.
Gomez made it 5-1 with an RBI single in the eighth off Esmerling Vasquez as Seibu’s three-game winning streak came to an end.
Giants 5, Fighters 4
At Tokyo Dome, Shinnosuke Abe broke a 4-4 tie with a sixth-inning solo homer off Hokkaido Nippon Ham reliever Keisuke Tanimoto (1-2).
Yomiuri’s Ryosuke Miyaguni (1-0) tossed three perfect innings in relief to earn the victory as the Giants won their sixth straight game to return to the top of the Central League.
Carp 1, Hawks 1 (5)
At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Fukuoka SoftBank’s Seiichi Uchikawa singled in a run in the third, but Hiroshima tied it in the fourth on back-to-back, no-out singles and a groundout.
The game was called on account of rain after five innings.
Buffaloes 6, Swallows 4
At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, pinch hitter Hiroyuki Nakajima plated a tie-breaking run in the sixth with a double off Tokyo Yakult submarine right-hander Hirofumi Yamanaka (2-4).
Yoshio Itoi added a solo homer for Orix.
BayStars 6, Marines 5 (10)
At Yokohama Stadium, Yoshitomo Tsutsugo’s 13th and 14th home runs of the season lifted Yokohama past Chiba Lotte. His three-run, fourth-inning homer helped the BayStars overcome a four-run deficit, and his 10th-inning sayonara solo homer won it.
Eagles 3, Dragons 0
At Nagoya Dome, Yoshinao Kamata (2-3) allowed six hits, a walk and a hit batsman, and three relievers completed an eight-hit shutout of Chunichi as Tohoku Rakuten scored all three of its runs in the first inning without a hit.
Dragons starter Yudai Ono (2-2) walked three batters and committed an error that allowed the first run to score.