SENDAI – The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks looked set for their sixth straight victory until the bottom of the ninth on Wednesday, when Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles rookie Ryosuke Tatsumi launched a walk-off double to give his team an 8-7 come-from-behind win.
The Eagles entered the home half of the ninth at Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi trailing 7-5 before SoftBank closer Yuito Mori (1-2) loaded the bases for American slugger Jabari Blash on three straight singles.
Blash seemed primed for some late heroics after homering twice and driving in four of the Eagles’ first five runs, but it was Tatsumi who stole the show by hitting a two-run double after the former big leaguer singled for his fifth RBI of the game.
Tatsumi had three hits Wednesday, while Ginji Akaminai went 5-for-5 with three runs scored to keep the Eagles alive. Blash launched one homer in the fourth to put the home team on the board and another in the eighth against Hiroshi Kaino to bring the Eagles within two.
Hawks starter Rei Takahashi gave up three runs and fanned four in the no-decision. The 23-year-old was unable to secure a fifth win in his fifth start this season despite support from the Hawks offense as the visitors squandered a seven-run lead.
Kenta Imamiya sparked a five-run first inning and drove in three runs, notching RBI singles in each of his first three turns at the plate. Eagles starter Wataru Karashima gave up seven runs on nine hits and two walks before making an early exit.
Karashima got into a bases-loaded jam and gave up a second run on a groundout as the Hawks batted around in the first. Seiichi Uchikawa capped the frame with a three-run homer.
Eagles left-hander Yuhei Takanashi (2-1) got the win after fanning three straight in the ninth.
Fighters 1, Buffaloes 0
At Sapporo Dome, Taishi Ota drove in the winning run with a double in the bottom of the sixth as Nippon Ham edged Orix.
Marines 12, Lions 1
At Maebashi Stadium, starter Hideaki Wakui (3-1) got the win and slugger Brandon Laird connected on a solo home run in the second inning and a grand slam in the eighth against the defending Pacific League champions.
Carp 3, Dragons 2
At Nagoya Dome, Hiroshima starter Daichi Osera (3-2) went the distance with seven strikeouts against Chunichi.
Giants 8, BayStars 5
At Hard Off Eco Stadium Niigata, Yomiuri rallied for seven runs in the seventh to come from behind and beat Yokohama.
Swallows 7, Tigers 7 (12)