Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Giants' Daikan Yoh comes through in clutch in triumph over Buffaloes

Kyodo

Daikan Yoh delivered a pinch-hit, game-winning RBI double in the bottom of the eighth inning to lead the Yomiuri Giants to a 4-3 victory over the Orix Buffaloes in interleague play on Tuesday.

Giants left-hander Nobutaka Imamura gave up one unearned run in his six-inning start, but the Buffaloes denied him a win by rallying for a pair of runs in the top of the eighth at Tokyo Dome. He struck out three while allowing six hits and a walk.

Seiji Tahara (2-2) was credited with the win after getting one out in the eighth.

Orix reliever Tomoyuki Kaida (0-1) took the loss after surrendering Yoh’s timely hit that scored Akihiro Wakabayashi with one out in the eighth.

After being sent in by Yomiuri manager Tatsunori Hara for his sole at-bat, Yoh hit Kaida’s first pitch deep to right field.

“I wasn’t sure if I was going in (to pinch hit), but I felt well prepared. Thankfully the outcome was good. It’s a good feeling,” Yoh said.

The Giants jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Yoshihiro Maru blasted Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s 1-1 fork ball deep to right after Hayato Sakamoto singled on a pop fly.

Kazuma Okamoto extended the lead in the third, knocking a solo shot over the center-field wall, connecting on Yamamoto’s 149-kph fastball over the middle of the strike zone.

Yomiuri gave up a run in the fourth inning when Okamoto misplayed a grounder from Keita Nakagawa, allowing Masataka Yoshida to score from third.

Buffaloes skipper Norifumi Nishimura took Yamamoto out after six innings. The 20-year-old right-hander struck out seven, while allowing three runs on eight hits and a walk.

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