Ryosuke Oguma made the most of an early lead, working into the seventh inning for the Chunichi Dragons in a 5-1 win on Saturday that put another dent in the Yomiuri Giants’ Central League pennant hopes.
Giants right-hander Kan Otake (5-4) surrendered a leadoff double and a single, before committing a two-run throwing error that put the Dragons on the board. Nobumasa Fukuda followed with an RBI double for all the run support Oguma would need.
“It was over before I could do anything,” said Otake, who fielded a grounder with runners on the corners and made a wild throw to first.
Yomiuri skipper Yoshinobu Takahashi said, “That (play) wasn’t everything, but it was big.”
Oguma (4-2) allowed six hits, including a Luis Cruz solo homer. The right-hander also walked three batters while striking out five at Tokyo Dome for his first win since April 28. Chunichi won its fifth straight game for the first time this season.
The Giants began the day a season-high 13-1/2 games out of first place. Their third straight loss reduced the Hiroshima Carp’s magic number to clinch the pennant to six.
Otake surrendered seven hits and issued two walks, while striking out three. Three of the four runs he allowed in his 3-1/3 innings were unearned.
Cruz and Hayato Sakamoto each went 3-for-4 for the Giants, who were held to seven hits.
Swallows 3, Carp 1
At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Kyle Davies (4-3) held high-powered Hiroshima to a run in seven innings to outduel Hiroki Kuroda (8-8).
The Swallows’ win kept them two games behind Yokohama in the hunt for the CL’s third and final playoff spot.
BayStars 3, Tigers 2
At Koshien Stadium, Yokohama twice came from behind, and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo delivering the final blow, a two-run, eighth-inning double, sending Hanshin to its seventh straight loss.
Shun Yamaguchi (10-5) allowed two runs over seven innings.
Hawks 7, Eagles 1
At Sendai’s Kobo Stadium, Kodai Senga (12-1) scattered five hits and four walks over the distance.
Seiichi Uchikawa broke up a scoreless tie with a sixth-inning RBI single off Tomohiro Anraku (1-4), and Kenji Akashi went 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs to lead Fukuoka SoftBank past Tohoku Rakuten.
Marines 9, Lions 8
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Takashi Ogino had a two-run, RBI single in a three-run third inning, when Chiba Lotte broke a 1-1 tie to take the lead before holding on to beat Seibu.
Fighters 12, Buffaloes 4
At Kobe’s Hotto Motto Field, Orix’s Brandon Dickson (9-9) was lit up for seven runs in two innings on a night when Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s Brandon Laird went 5-for-5 with three home runs, giving him 35 on the season.
Trying to become the first PL player to hit four in a game since the Fighters’ Nigel Wilson in 1997, Laird singled to third in his final at-bat.