NAGOYA – Tetsuto Yamada broke a 10th-inning tie with a three-run home run, lifting the Tokyo Yakult Swallows to a 5-2 victory over the Chunichi Dragons on Saturday afternoon.
Yamada, who this year became the first player in Nippon Professional Baseball to steal 30 bases and hit 30 home runs in four different seasons, hit the third pitch he saw from right-hander Kento Fujishima (0-1) into the stands at Nagoya Dome for his 32nd homer.
“It was a breaking ball, but both the contact point and swing mechanics were exactly the way I want them,” Yamada said. “I’m happy to have had a hand in earning us a win.”
Fujishima retired the first two batters he faced in the 10th before giving up back-to-back singles to Kengo Ota and Norichika Aoki.
The Swallows took advantage of two mistakes from Dragons starter Yuya Yanagi to take the lead in the second. A fluke single on a tough pitch by Yuhei Takai opened the door, and Yuhei Nakamura and Nobuyuki Okumura each hammered a fat pitch for an RBI double.
Yanagi allowed only two more runners to reach before he left after seven innings, while Yakult starter David Buchanan gave up his lead in the bottom of the sixth, when Dayan Viciedo tied it with a two-run double.
Carp 4, BayStars 2
At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Aren Kuri (7-7) yielded two runs over 6-1/3 innings, while Tsubasa Aizawa hit a two-run homer for Hiroshima in a win against Yokohama.
Tigers 4, Giants 2
At Koshien Stadium, Masahiro Nakatani’s two-run pinch-hit homer in the seventh inning lifted Hanshin past Yomiuri.
Lions 10, Hawks 5
At Tokorozawa’s MetLife Dome, Tomoya Mori homered for the fourth straight game and Hotaka Yamakawa smacked his Japan-leading 40th as Seibu scored five runs in the first inning off Fukuoka SoftBank veteran Tsuyoshi Wada (4-3).
Eagles 1, Fighters 0
At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi, Wataru Karashima (8-5) and four Tohoku Rakuten relievers tossed a combined shutout against Hokkaido Nippon Ham.
Buffaloes 2, Marines 1
At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, light-hitting Ryoichi Adachi blasted a ninth-inning solo homer off closer Naoya Masuda (3-5), and Orix closer Brandon Dickson retired the side in order to record his 15th save as the Buffaloes edged Chiba Lotte.