SAPPORO – Taishi Ota went 2-for-4 and drove in the go-ahead run in Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters’ 11-4 victory over the interleague-leading Tokyo Yakult Swallows on Friday.
In front of 29,890 at Sapporo Dome, Ota broke a 4-4 tie in the fifth inning with a single. Yushi Shimizu singled off right-hander Ren Kazehari (1-2) and scored on Ota’s hit.
“I’m really glad I was able to drive in that run,” Ota said. “Our relievers were doing well, and all I had in mind was hitting.”
In the first inning, Ota singled off Swallows starter Matt Carasiti and came home on cleanup hitter Sho Nakata’s RBI to put the Fighters ahead.
Nippon Ham extended its lead in the next inning with Takuya Nakashima’s bases-loaded triple. Carasiti allowed a single and issued a pair of walks before Nakashima gave the Fighters a 4-0 lead.
Yakult managed to tie the score in the fifth. Former major-leaguer Norichika Aoki drove in two runs with a double before pinch hitter Takahiro Araki singled in two more runs.
With Nippon Ham ahead 5-4, Nakata led off the eighth with a solo homer off right-hander Kenichi Matsuoka. Kyohei Muranaka took the mound with runners on second and third, and yielded five runs. He issued three walks before Kensuke Kondo doubled in three runs.
Giants 5, Marines 0
At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Tomoyuki Sugano (7-4) threw his third shutout of the season in Yomiuri’s victory over Chiba Lotte.
Daikan Yoh went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Hayato Sakamoto singled in two runs in the fourth.
Buffaloes 7, BayStars 3
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome Osaka, Yuki Nishi (4-6) struck out 12 in eight strong innings as Orix defeated Yokohama.
Stefen Romero opened the scoring for the Buffaloes with a first-inning triple before Hiroyuki Nakajima slugged his first homer of the season in the four-run inning.
Hawks 8, Carp 0
At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Alfredo Despaigne’s first-inning, three-run homer opened the scoring and Tomoki Takata followed with a second-inning, two-run shot in Fukuoka SoftBank’s win over Central-League leading Hiroshima.
Seiji Uebayashi and Tomoaki Egawa homered for the Hawks.
Tigers 4, Eagles 0
At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, right-hander Shintaro Fujinami (1-2) struck out nine over 6-1/3 innings en route to picking up his first win of the season as Hanshin blanked Tohoku Rakuten.
Masahiro Nakatani opened the scoring with a six-inning, two-run shot.
Lions 3, Dragons 2 (10)
At Tokorozawa’s MetLife Dome, Eito Asamura’s eighth-inning, RBI double tied the game and Hotaka Yamakawa drove in a run as Seibu came from behind to beat Chunichi.