Baseball / Japanese Baseball

BayStars' Hikaru Ito sets tone for offense in triumph over Buffaloes

Kyodo

Hikaru Ito went 3-for-3 with a home run to lead the Yokohama BayStars to a 3-1 win over the Orix Buffaloes at the start of interleague play on Tuesday.

The BayStars catcher finished with two runs, an RBI and a walk after opening the scoring for the Central League team with his fifth homer of the season.

Shinichi Onuki (3-3) got the win at Kyocera Dome after five shutout innings in which he struck out a pair while allowing five hits and a walk.

With one out in the top of the second, Ito made solid contact with Orix starter Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s 0-2 curve ball, clearing the high wall behind center field for a 1-0 lead.

Yamato Maeda extended the lead to 3-0 with two out in the top of the fourth, scoring Ito and Keita Sano with a shot to center field off Yamamoto. Tatsuhiro Shibata was tagged out at third on the same play to end the inning.

The Pacific League cellar dwellers got on the board in the eighth when Stefen Romero belted his first pitch from Spencer Patton into the left-field bleachers for his fourth homer of the year.

Yamamoto (3-3) took the loss after allowing all three Yokohama runs. The 20-year-old right-hander struck out five, while surrendering eight hits and a pair of walks in his six-inning start.

Giants 3, Eagles 2

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi, Christian Villanueva crushed a two-run homer in the top of the ninth as Yomiuri came back to beat PL-leading Tohoku Rakuten.

Hawks 6, Dragons 4

At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Rick van den Hurk won his first start of the season with some help from his offense as Fukuoka SoftBank topped Chunichi.

The Dutch right-hander struck out eight while allowing three runs on three hits over 5-1/3 innings.

Fighters 7, Swallows 6 (10)

Lions 5, Carp 4 (12)

Tigers 11, Marines 3