TOKOROZAWA, SAITAMA PREF. – Kensuke Kondo and Sho Nakata capped a late rally on Sunday as the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters fought back from a four-run deficit to claim a 6-5 win over the Saitama Seibu Lions.
In the eighth inning at MetLife Dome, Kondo blasted a shot off Lions reliever Kyle Martin (0-3) against the left center field wall to drive in the come-from-behind run. Nakata, who homered in the visitor’s first run, followed up with an RBI single for insurance.
Fighters starter Naoyuki Uwasawa (4-2) allowed four runs over seven innings and picked up his fourth win. Seibu rookie Wataru Matsumoto pitched into the sixth in his second pro start but was not a factor in the decision as the Fighters ended the Lions’ five-game winning streak.
Matsumoto fanned six and avoided a few close calls until the fifth, when Nakata took him deep to put the Fighters on the board. Takuya Nakashima added a two-out, RBI double in the sixth before the 22-year-old was relieved.
Uwasawa did not yield a hit until he faced Yuji Kaneko in the third. The Lions’ outfielder singled, stole second and reached third on an overthrow, then crossed the plate on a grounder from Sosuke Genda, who made it to second on another fielding error.
Shuta Tonosaki and Hotaka Yamakawa each drove in runs for a 3-0 lead before Uwasawa coaxed an inning-ending fly out to short.
The right-hander got into a two-on, one-out jam in the fourth while Nippon Ham’s defense continued to flounder, with second baseman Ryo Watanabe mishandling a grounder from Kaneko that resulted in the Lions’ fourth run.
Seibu reliever Katsunori Hirai took over in the seventh and gave up two runs, including a game-tying RBI single to Kotaro Kiyomiya. The Fighters’ designated hitter was playing his third game since returning from a right-hand fracture that sidelined him in the preseason.
Side-arm right-hander Ryo Akiyoshi gave up a ninth-inning double to Kaneko but fanned Genda to keep the Fighters’ lead intact and pick up his eighth save.
Eagles 4, Buffaloes 1
At Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi, Kengo Horiuchi’s two-run RBI overturned the visitor’s early lead, while Ryota Ishibashi held the visitors to a run and got his first win as a starter in Rakuten’s 4-1 victory over Orix.
Marines 8, Hawks 2
At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, the Chiba Lotte Marines hammered out a big win over the PL-leading Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks behind 6⅓ innings from Ayumu Ishikawa (2-2).
Tigers 7, BayStars 0
At Yokohama Stadium, Onelki Garcia (1-2) threw a four-hit, complete game shutout to pick up his first win pitching for the Hanshin Tigers as the visitor’s offense ignited en route to a pounding of Yokohama
Giants 5, Carp 4
At Tokyo Dome, Geronimo Franzua (4-2) got into a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the eighth and gave up a game-winning sacrifice fly as the Yomiuri Giants ended a five-game losing skid with a 5-4 win over Hiroshima.
Dragons 10, Swallows 8