OSAKA – Yoshitomo Tsutsugo’s eighth-inning RBI single broke up a tie game and starter Yasutomo Kubo pitched into the eighth as the Yokohama BayStars defeated the Orix Buffaloes 3-1 in interleague action on Friday.
Tsutsugo came up with bases loaded with one-out and hit a line single to right to plate two off Daiki Tomei (1-5). The right-hander, who gave up Masashi Kuwahara’s solo home run in the third, allowed three runs, two earned, in 7-1/3 innings.
Tomei got ahead in the count 1-2, but a forkball intended to go low and away to the left-handed slugger, missed up and over the heart of the plate.
“The guys worked together to create that scoring chance and I wanted to do all I could to bring a run home,” Tsutsugo said. “I didn’t have any negative thoughts (about falling behind in the count), as I went into the at-bat thinking I would absolutely get a hit. I was happy when I hit it because I thought it would get through the infield.”
“Kubo has been pitching so well all along, so it’s a good thing that I could get a hit and help get him a win.”
Kubo (3-3) allowed a run on six hits and a walk over 7-1/3 innings for the BayStars, who snapped a three-game losing streak. The 35-year-old right-hander struck out five before leaving with two on in the eighth, but reliever Shinji Ohara got the visitors out of the inning before 26,553 at Kyocera Dome.
Facing the two men whose hits tied it for Orix in the sixth, Ohara got No. 3 hitter Yoshio Itoi to ground into an easy out. With the tying runs in scoring position, Ohara struck Takahiro Okada out swinging.
Yasuaki Yamasaki, the Central League’s 2015 Rookie of the Year, entered in the ninth, and worked around a two-out walk to record his 16th save of the season.
Hawks 2, Giants 1
At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, an eighth-inning, bases-loaded sac fly from Shinya Tsuruoka off Yomiuri starter Tomoyuki Sugano (5-2) broke a 1-1 tie.
Nao Higashihama allowed a run on four hits over six-plus innings as Pacific League-leading Fukuoka SoftBank won its fourth straight.
Dennis Sarfate pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his 21st save.
Carp 6, Eagles 0
At Sendai’s Kobo Stadium, Hiroki Kuroda (5-3) scattered nine hits and two walks over eight innings, and Kosuke Tanaka and Ryosuke Kikuchi, the top two hitters in Hiroshima’s order, each hit a two-run homer off Tohoku Rakuten starter Takahiro Shiomi (3-3).
Fighters 5, Tigers 4
At Sapporo Dome, Hanshin’s Shun Takayama hit a two-run, come-from-behind double in the eighth, but closer Kyuji Fujikawa (2-4) surrendered a walk-off, two-run shot to Hokkaido Nippon Ham slugger Brandon Laird in the ninth as the Tigers lost their fifth straight.
Lions 1, Dragons 0 (12)
At Tokorozawa’s Seibu Prince Dome, Shogo Akiyama hit a two out, walk-off RBI single in the 12th to hand Seibu a last-gasp win off Chunichi’s Shinji Tajima (2-1) and lift the Lions back to .500 for the first time since April.
Swallows 7, Marines 6 (10)
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Tokyo Yakult right fielder Yuhei Takai, whose defensive lapse helped Chiba Lotte tie it in the ninth, scored the winning run in the 10th.
Takai opened with a single against closer Yuji Nishino (3-4), went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Yuhei Nakamura’s safety squeeze.