Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Giants clober CL rival Swallows

Hurler Otake throws seven scoreless innings, gets strong support from team's batters

Kyodo

Kan Otake threw seven shutout innings as the Yomiuri Giants walloped the Tokyo Yakult Swallows 9-0 in the Central League on Saturday.

Otake (3-1) held Yakult to four hits and three walks, while striking out five in a 132-pitch outing, making the most of his impressive run support before 44,423 at Tokyo Dome.

“I always go to the mound thinking I’m on the edge of a cliff. I was just determined to win,” Otake said. “(Catcher) Seiji (Kobayashi) called good pitches and the guys gave me courage by scoring lots of runs.”

The Giants broke the ice in the second off Hirofumi Yamanaka (3-8) on a Shinnosuke Abe leadoff double and a two-out Ryota Wakiya bloop single. Hisayoshi Chono went deep off the submarine right-hander to double the lead in the third and Kobayashi hit a one-out RBI single in the fourth after Yamanaka gave up a walk and a single.

Yamanaka allowed three runs, seven hits and two walks over four innings.

Reliever Yoshihisa Naruse fared no better in the fifth. After Yomiuri loaded the bases on two singles and a walk, Naruse walked in a run before Kobayashi singled home two more. The lefty was pulled after his error on an Otake sacrifice allowed the Giants to reload the bases.

Hiroaki Dohi allowed an inherited runner to score before getting out of the fifth, but surrendered two of his own in the sixth.

“Otake pitched defiantly, challenging the batters,” said Kobayashi. “I just gave my all with my batting and (I’m) glad it led to runs. We’re still in it determined to overtake the (front-running Hiroshima) Carp and win the league.”

BayStars 7, Carp 5

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Yokohama’s Takayuki Kajitani homered twice and drove in three runs, and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo also hit his CL-best 32nd homer, while Hiroshima’s Hiroki Kuroda (7-6) took the loss allowing five runs over six innings.

The league-leading Carp made a game out of it in the ninth after Tetsuya Kokubo’s pinch-hit grand slam off Mike Zagurskie, but closer Yasuaki Yamasaki got the last out to record his 24th save.

Tigers 8, Dragons 2

At Koshien Stadium, Hanshin’s Kosuke Fukudome hit for the cycle, scored three runs and drove in five on a 4-for-4 night, starting off with a solo shot in the second off Chunichi’s Kazuki Yoshimi (4-4), who allowed five runs in five innings.

Randy Messenger (9-6) held the Dragons to two runs over seven frames.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Lions 3, Buffaloes 2

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Seibu’s Hotaka Yamakawa tied the game in the eighth inning with a two-out solo shot off Orix reliever Kazumasa Yoshida (4-2), and the right-hander allowed a double and a walk before surrendering a decisive RBI single to Takumi Kuriyama.

Eagles 5, Marines 4 (11)

At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Japhet Amador erased a two-run deficit with his first home run in Japan, a one-out, two-run shot in the ninth off closer Yuji Nishino, and Hiroaki Shimauchi’s pinch-hit RBI single plated the go-ahead run in the 11th as Tohoku Rakuten earned a dramatic win against Chiba Lotte.

Fighters 3, Hawks 2

At Sapporo Dome, Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s Hiromi Oka singled in the tying runs in the seventh and loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth by reaching on an infield single before Fukuoka SoftBank reliever Ryota Igarashi (0-1) ended the game by hitting pinch hitter Kenji Yano with a pitch.