YOKOHAMA – Yokohama pulled off a minor miracle as Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, Jose Lopez and Toshiro Miyazaki hit back-to-back-to-back homers in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the BayStars a 6-5 victory over the Hiroshima Carp on Tuesday.
“By far the most exciting game this year,” BayStars skipper Alex Ramirez said at Yokohama Stadium, where his team erased a three-run deficit with three swings to stun the Central League leaders.
“The big guys came in and did it so it was great. It’s huge for us,” he said.
Third-place Yokohama was down 5-2 going into the final inning after Hiroshima led behind home runs from Brad Eldred and Tomohiro Abe, who got to starter Satoshi Iizuka.
Tatsuhiro Shibata ignited the BayStars’ comeback by leading off the ninth with a full-count single off starter Yusuke Nomura, who cruised through the first eight innings in 98 pitches.
Tsutsugo ripped his 20th round-tripper of the season to bring the home team within one, and Lopez followed with a solo shot to left — his 24th blast of the year — off closer Takeru Imamura (1-4), who replaced Nomura, to tie it at 5-5.
Miyazaki then had the last word by lifting a forkball from Nomura just over the left-field wall, sending the Yokohama fans into delirium.
“I was so nervous when I went up there,” said Miyazaki, who hit his 10th homer. “The guys before me got us back in the game and I swung with all my might.
“I didn’t think it’d clear the fence. I’m really glad it did, though.”
Rookie Yuya Onaka (1-0) fanned three over a scoreless eighth and ninth to earn his first career win, which comes after the BayStars were swept over the weekend by the Yomiuri Giants at Tokyo Dome.
“Now we’re back home,” Ramirez said. “We just have to continue playing like this. Tomorrow is another day.”
Swallows 5, Tigers 4
At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Carlos Rivero’s two-out, walk-off RBI single gave last-place Tokyo Yakult the win against Hanshin, just hours after Swallows manager Mitsuru Manaka announced he would quit at the end of the season.
Giants 9, Dragons 2
At Nagoya Dome, Yomiuri won its fourth straight behind eight strong innings from Miles Mikolas (12-5), who held Chunichi to two earned runs while striking out seven.
The Dragons lost their sixth in a row.
Eagles 6, Marines 2
At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, rookie Shoma Fujihira (1-2) won his first career game with five shutout innings against Chiba Lotte as Tohoku Rakuten ended a six-game losing streak.
Hawks 7, Lions 0
At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, first-place Fukuoka SoftBank won its sixth in a row as Rick van den Hurk (12-5) and two relievers held Seibu to just a pair of singles.
Buffaloes 5, Fighters 2
At Kobe’s Hotto Motto Field, Stefen Romero and Hiroyuki Nakajima homered as Orix beat Hokkaido Nippon Ham to win its third straight.