Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Lions grab victory over Fighters

Kyodo

Takeya Nakamura homered twice and drove in five runs, while a costly error by the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters paved the way for the Seibu Lions’ 10-8 victory on Wednesday afternoon.

In a game that was called on account of darkness with no outs in the top of the eighth, the second-place Lions moved to within 2½ games of the Pacific League-leading Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, whose game against the Orix Buffaloes in Kyoto was rained out for the second-straight day.

Nakamura’s 24th home run of the season, a two-run first-inning shot, opened the scoring at Kushiro Stadium in Hokkaido. His 25th, a three-run blast, broke a 3-3 tie in the fourth.

“I’m glad we won,” said Nakamura, who now has 99 RBIs, four shy of teammate Hotaka Yamakawa, who leads the league with 103. “I went into my at-bats the same way I always do.”

But the Fighters battled back again and held a 7-6 lead after five innings.

With two on and two outs in the sixth, Nakamura drilled a ground ball off the right foot of pitcher Tsubasa Nabatame (0-1). The ball deflected to third baseman Kensuke Kondo, whose wild throw past first allowed two runs to score.

Nakamura scored his third run of the game on a Takumi Kuriyama double. Kuriyama’s second hit of the game gave him 1,805 career hits, one shy of tying Hiromichi Ishige’s franchise record.

Lions catcher Tomoya Mori added to the lead in the eighth, leading off the inning with his 18th home run of the season.

Marines 5, Eagles 4

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi, Takahiro Norimoto (2-4) allowed four runs in two innings, including two on his throwing error in the second, as Rakuten lost to Chiba Lotte.

Hawks at Buffaloes — ppd.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Giants 6, Carp 2

At Tokyo Dome, Hayato Sakamoto’s two-run, fifth-inning home run turned a one-run deficit into a one-run lead as Yomiuri went on to defeat Hiroshima.

Dragons 1, Tigers 0

At Nishinomiya’s Koshien Stadium, Toshiki Abe hit a sixth-inning home run and four Chunichi pitchers took part in a 1-0 shutout of Hanshin.

Swallows at BayStars — late

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