Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Takumi Kuriyama lifts Lions to comeback win against Buffaloes

Kyodo

Takumi Kuriyama’s eighth-inning, bases-loaded RBI single lifted the Saitama Seibu Lions to a 4-2 come-from-behind win over the Orix Buffaloes on Sunday.

Tomoya Mori drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game, and Kuriyama singled to right field against Buffaloes reliever Sachiya Yamasaki to put the visitors ahead in the four-run inning at Kyocera Dome.

“I haven’t been able to hit at important moments so far this season, so I really wanted to drive in the winner,” the 35-year-old Kuriyama said.

“Everyone in our team never gives up until the very end even if we are behind. We want to keep playing persistently,” he said.

The Buffaloes had a 2-0 lead going into the eighth, but blew it as the bullpen collapsed with two relievers issuing a combined six walks.

The Lions batters loaded the bases on three walks against Taisuke Kondo (1-2), and Hotaka Yamakawa drew another to open the scoring. After Kuriyama turned the game around, Takeya Nakamura capped the four-run inning with another bases-loaded walk.

Buffaloes’ rookie Kohei Suzuki pitched seven scoreless innings in his first start of the season. He fanned five and did not issue a single walk.

Last season, he pitched 7 innings over four games but did not factor in a decision.

Joey Meneses’ first-inning, RBI single against Tatsuya Imai put the Buffaloes ahead. The Buffaloes, who fell to the bottom of the Pacific League standings again on Saturday, added their second run in the third on Shuhei Kojima’s RBI single.

Imai (3-2) allowed two runs on eight hits and three walks, while striking out three over seven innings.

Marines 10, Eagles 8

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, Yudai Fujioka drove in three runs, while Takashi Ogino and Shogo Nakamura added two each in Lotte’s win over Rakuten.

Fighters 4, Hawks 0

At Sapporo Dome, Kohei Arihara (4-0) gave up two hits and a walk, while fanning four over seven innings as the Nippon Ham beat SoftBank.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Giants 7, BayStars 2

At Tokyo Dome, Yomiuri defeated DeNa as the BayStars fell to their 10th loss in a row.

Tigers 4, Dragons 2

At Nagoya Dome, Yoshio Itoi’s seventh-inning two-run tie-breaking single lifted the Hanshin Tigers 4-2 over the Chunichi Dragons.

Swallows 4, Carp 2

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Hirotoshi Takanashi (2-2) threw six scoreless innings and the Swallows hit four solo home runs in a victory that snapped Hiroshima’s eight-game winning streak.