NAGOYA – Christian Villanueva hit his first two home runs in Japan, and Shun Yamaguchi worked seven innings to lead the Yomiuri Giants to a 3-1 victory over the Chunichi Dragons on Tuesday.
Villanueva, who hit 20 home runs last season as a rookie for the San Diego Padres, tied the game 1-1 with a second-inning home run, and purchased some insurance with a ninth-inning homer at spacious Nagoya Dome. The 27-year-old went 2-for-3 with a walk.
Yamaguchi (2-0) allowed a run on six hits and two hit batsman. The right-hander struck out six as he outdueled Chunichi’s Yudai Ono (0-1).
Ono allowed two runs — one earned — over six innings. He gave up five hits and issued three walks, but struck out 11.
The Giants broke the tie in the third, when Dragons first baseman Dayan Viciedo dropped a throw, allowing the leadoff runner to reach on an error. Ono then surrendered singles to Hayato Sakamoto and Yoshihiro Maru, to surrender the lead. Ono then pitched out of a no-out, bases-loaded jam with the help of two strikeouts.
Tigers 12, BayStars 8
At Nishinomiya’s Koshien Stadium, Ryutaro Umeno hit for the cycle with a home run and an RBI double in Hanshin’s six-run eighth as the Tigers came from behind to beat Yokohama.
Swallows 10, Carp 1
At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Juri Hara (1-0) allowed a run over eight innings as Tokyo Yakult hammered Hiroshima.
Marines 5, Buffaloes 4
At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Brandon Laird belted his seventh home run and Daichi Suzuki’s 10th-inning sayonara single lifted Chiba Lotte to a walk-off win over Orix.
Eagles 7, Lions 6
At Omiya Park, Hideto Asamura smacked a two-run home run against his old team as Tohoku Rakuten edged Seibu.
Fighters 3, Hawks 3 (10)