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Kuramoto connects on sayonara double as BayStars beat Dragons

Kyodo

Toshihiko Kuramoto doubled home the game-ending run in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Yokohama BayStars came from behind to edge the Chunichi Dragons 3-2 on Wednesday.

BayStars starter Joe Wieland did not figure in the decision but held the Dragons to two runs on five hits and two walks over seven innings, striking out nine in his 100-pitch effort at a rainy Yokohama Stadium.

Chunichi scored first, with Nobumasa Fukuda hitting a two-run home run in the second.

The BayStars’ Jose Lopez drove in a run in the sixth, and Yokohama drew even in the next inning, as Hiroyuki Shirasaki scored from third on a passed ball from catcher Masato Matsui.

BayStars reliever Edwin Escobar tossed a 1-2-3 eighth. Closer Yasuaki Yamasaki (3-2) came on in the top of the ninth and loaded the bases before getting any outs, but escaped the jam with a foul fly out and two strikeouts.

In the bottom frame, catcher Hiroki Minei got on board with one out and Kuramoto drove him home with a double off veteran Chunichi reliever Hitoki Iwase (3-5), giving the BayStars their fourth walk-off win this season.

“Minei got on base so I thought I’d do the same but it turned out to be the best result possible so I’m glad,” Kuramoto said. “The team atmosphere is just great and I think today’s game will give us the momentum to go further up.”

Yokohama sits in third place in the Central League, 1½ games behind the second-place Hanshin Tigers.

“Wieland did a tremendous job even though we were losing two to nothing. He was able to keep us in the game,” BayStars skipper Alex Ramirez said. “The reason why we won the game (is) because the relievers did a tremendous job today, so that was great.”

Giants 8, Swallows 2

At Jingu Stadium, Yoshiyuki Kamei, Hayato Sakamoto and Shinnosuke Abe each hit a solo homer to lead Yomiuri over Tokyo Yakult.

Giants starter Miles Mikolas (11-5) tossed a three-hitter for seven innings while fanning 12.

Carp 5, Tigers 3

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Ryuhei Matsuyama opened the scoring with an RBI hit in the first inning and four teammates drove in a run apiece as league-leading Hiroshima defeated Hanshin for its fourth victory in a row.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Fighters 4, Marines 2

At Sapporo Dome, Shohei Otani broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth with an RBI hit, Brandon Laird hit a solo shot in the fifth and Sho Nakata added another run the following inning with a sacrifice fly as Hokkaido Nippon Ham beat Chiba Lotte.

Kohei Arihara (6-10) fanned eight as he gave up one run on six hits over seven innings.

Lions 5, Eagles 0

At Tokorozawa’s MetLife Dome, Kyohei Nagae hit a two-run double and Tomoya Mori struck a solo clout as Seibu blanked Tohoku Rakuten to claim its fourth straight win.

Starter Yosuke Okamoto (6-0) and three relievers combined to hold the Eagles to five hits.

Hawks 2, Buffaloes 1

At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Nobuhiro Matsuda hit a solo homer in the sixth with the game tied 1-1 and PL-leading SoftBank held on to defeat Orix.

Hawks closer Dennis Sarfate worked a scoreless ninth to reach 40 saves for the third consecutive year.