TOKOROZAWA, SAITAMA PREF. – Shinsaburo Tawata allowed two runs over seven innings as the Seibu Lions batters produced an offensive master class in a 16-4 Pacific League win over the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles on Sunday.
Tawata (5-0) allowed six hits and struck out four without issuing a walk as the Lions came from behind against 19-year-old right-hander Shoma Fujihira (1-2) in front of a holiday crowd of 32,741 at MetLife Dome.
“I think I did a good job of battling in tough situations,” Tawata said. “My focus was on executing my best pitch, my slider, and keeping it low.
“Even though we fell behind, I always feel we’re going to come from behind, so I just focused on executing as well as I could.”
Trailing 2-0, veteran Takumi Kuriyama led off the Lions’ third with a double and scored on an Ernesto Mejia single. After a walk and an infield single, remarkable slugger Hotaka Yamakawa drew a bases-loaded walk to tie it.
Fujihira recorded a 1-2-3 fourth, but the roof caved in on him in the fifth. Yuji Kaneko singled and stole the first of his two bases, went to third on an error and scored the go-ahead run on Shogo Akiyama’s single. With two outs and a man on, Yamakawa crushed his second home run in two games and his 11th of the season.
“We did a lot of damage today with two outs, and from guys who have not been in the best form recently,” Lions manager Hatsuhiko Tsuji said. “Kaneko has been coming around, and Mejia looked really good today in batting practice before the game.
“Tawata is the kind of pitcher who takes a little while to settle in, but I thought he held things together and by the fourth and fifth innings, his fastball had a little extra life on it.”
The Lions put the game away in a six-run sixth inning against the Eagles bullpen on a three-run Hideto Asamura double and a two-run double by catcher Tomoya Mori, who later added a two-run homer.
Fujihira was charged with five runs, four earned, in five innings. He allowed six hits and two walks, while striking out four.
Hawks 7, Buffaloes 4 (10)
At Kyocera Dome, Seiji Uebayashi’s two-out RBI single tied it in the ninth as Fukuoka SoftBank completed its come-from-behind victory over Orix on Yuichi Honda’s 10th-inning, bases-loaded triple.
Marines 6, Fighters 5
At Zozo Marine Stadium, rookie Yudai Fujioka’s two-run, sixth-inning triple brought Chiba Lotte from a run down against Hokkaido Nippon Ham. The Marines got a big run in the fourth, when Ikuhiro Kiyota was ruled safe at home because the catcher blocked the plate after catching the ball — which is illegal in Japan.
Carp 5, Tigers 2
At Mazda Stadium, Daichi Osera (3-2) allowed two runs in 7⅔ innings, Xavier Batista hit a tie-breaking, sixth-inning homer and Kosuke Tanaka added a two-run blast in the seventh as Hiroshima came back to beat Hanshin. The league-leading Carp have now won five straight for the second time this season.
BayStars 4, Dragons 2 (10)
At Nagoya Dome, pitcher Joe Wieland singled twice and allowed a run in six innings, while Yoshitomo Tsutsugo broke a 2-2, 10th-inning tie with his sixth home run as Chunichi wasted seven scoreless innings from Onelki Garcia in a loss to Yokohama.
Giants 11, Swallows 8
At Tokyo Dome, Yomiuri came from behind in the seventh on a pair of big pinch hits. Shinnosuke Abe’s one-out, two-run single tied it and Yoshiyuki Kamei’s two-out, two-run double put Tokyo Yakult in the rearview mirror for good.
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