Juri Hara allowed a run in six innings, pitching the Tokyo Yakult Swallows to their third straight victory, a 4-2 win over the Central League-leading Hanshin Tigers on Friday.
Before 28,264 at historic Jingu Stadium, the second-year right-hander faced only one scoring threat through five innings, but surrendered a leadoff homer in the sixth. He then pitched out of a two-on, no-out jam to leave with a 3-1 lead.
The run snapped a 26-inning scoreless streak for the Swallows.
Hara (1-1), the Swallows’ top draft pick in 2015, allowed four hits and a walk, while striking out six. He retired the Tigers in order in the first, and his teammates scored twice in the home half off Tigers lefty Yuta Iwasada (2-3).
Iwasada surrendered a leadoff walk and a one-out Tetsuto Yamada single. After a groundout behind the runners put two in scoring position, Iwasada pitched around slugger Wladimir Balentien and light-hitting shortstop Keiji Obiki doubled.
Yamada singled with one out in the third inning and scored from second on a one-out Balentien single.
Iwasada left after five innings for pinch hitter Hayata Ito, who went deep on Hara’s first pitch of the sixth inning. Two quick singles put the tying runs on base, but Hara needed just five pitches to record three outs and end the threat.
Tigers starter Iwasada gave up three walks, four hits and hit a batter, while striking out two.
Shun Takayama, the CL’s 2016 rookie of the year, homered for Hanshin in the eighth, and Balentien answered back with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the inning.
Ryo Akiyoshi, the Swallows’ side-arm closer, worked around a leadoff single to Kosuke Fukudome in the ninth to record his seventh save.
The loss was the second straight for the Tigers, who hadn’t lost consecutive games since April 19 and 20.
Giants 5, BayStars 3 (10)
At Yokohama Stadium, Casey McGehee scored the game’s first run and drove in the last three as Yomiuri came from behind to beat the BayStars. McGehee’s sac fly tied it 3-3 in the ninth, and his two-run, 10th-inning single proved to be the knockout blow.
Hawks 2, Lions 1
At MetLife Dome, Rick van den Hurk (4-2) allowed a run in seven innings to outduel lefty Yusei Kikuchi (4-2). Nobuhiro Matsuda homered, Seiji Uebayashi’s two-out, seventh-inning RBI double broke a 1-1 tie, and Dennis Sarfate saved his 15th game as Fukuoka SoftBank edged Seibu.
Fighters 7, Buffaloes 2
At Sapporo Dome, right-hander Hiroshi Urano (3-0) survived five tough but scoreless innings and offseason acquisition Taishi Ota belted his fifth home run, a three-run shot, as Hokkaido Nippon Ham handed Orix its third straight loss.