Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Tigers' Yoshio Itoi slugs solo homer in fifth inning for game's only run

Hanshin lefty Yuta Iwasada tosses seven scoreless innings in triumph over Yomiuri

Kyodo

Yoshio Itoi made Giants ace Tomoyuki Sugano pay for his biggest mistake, homering in the fifth inning to power the Hanshin Tigers to a 1-0 win over Yomiuri on Friday.

Sugano (5-3), who had won his last five decisions, had not allowed a runner through 4-1/3 innings at Koshien Stadium . But the right-hander fell behind 2-0 to the left-handed-hitting Itoi, who crushed a fat cutter and drove it into the right-field stands.

Tigers starter Yuta Iwasada (3-1) scattered six hits and a walk over seven innings with the help of eight strikeouts. Kentaro Kuwahara worked a 1-2-3 eighth, and closer Rafael Dolis worked around Casey McGehee’s ninth-inning leadoff single to record his 15th save.

“My opponent tonight (Sugano) is a great pitcher. Make no mistake about that,” the lefty Iwasada said. “I knew that when I got into a jam, I had to work carefully with my catcher to get out of trouble.”

After Itoi homered, an error, a single and a two-out walk to Iwasada loaded the bases, but Sugano got out of thejam with one of his 10 strikeouts. Sugano surrendered a leadoff triple in the sixth, but once more dug in deep to keep Kento Itohara from scoring.

Carp 6, Dragons 3

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Daichi Osera (7-2) allowed three runs on five hits over the distance, while Hiroshima bludgeoned Chunichi starter Yuya Yanagi (2-4) in a six-hit, six-run second.

BayStars 14, Swallows 5

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Takayuki Kajitani had five of Yokohama’s 19 hits, homered twice, doubled twice, scored four runs and drove in four to power the BayStars to a come-from-behind win over Tokyo Yakult.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Fighters 8, Lions 5

At Tokorozawa’s MetLife Dome, Kensuke Kondo went 3-for-4 with a homer, two runs and three RBIs as second-place Hokkaido Nippon Ham beat Seibu to move within three games of the PL-leading Lions.

Buffaloes 9, Marines 5

At Kobe’s Hotto Motto Field, Masahiro Nishino’s three-run, fifth-inning double brought Orix to within a run against Chiba Lotte, and later scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly.

Koji Oshiro broke a 5-5 tie with an RBI single.

Marines starter Hideaki Wakui (4-4) allowed nine runs in 6-1/3 innings, while the Buffaloes’ bullpen allowed just one run over the final six frames.

Eagles 6, Hawks 4

At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Nao Higashihama (1-5) gave up five runs in three innings, while Carlos Peguero homered and drove in four runs to lead Tohoku Rakuten past Fukuoka SoftBank.