SENDAI – Hotaka Yamakawa hit a game-winning double and Keisuke Honda had a solid start, as the Seibu Lions beat the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 3-2 on Sunday to clinch their series.
Honda scattered four hits, pitching into the sixth inning, after Takeya Nakamura drove in two early runs at Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi. The third baseman also drew a clutch walk in the eighth to put a runner in scoring position to help set up Yamakawa.
In the first, Lions’ leadoff man Shogo Akiyama drew a walk and reached second on Tomoya Mori’s grounder after shortstop Eigoro Mogi missed a throw covering second.
Nakamura stepped to the plate and swung on the first pitch he saw from Eagles starter Ryota Ishibashi, sending a deep shot to the left center gap for a two-run double.
Seibu’s lead held until Honda exited in the sixth and Lions reliever Kaima Taira yielded a game-tying two-run blast to Jabari Blash.
The visitors capitalized on a late opportunity in the eighth, after Mori led off with a single and Nakamura drew a walk against reliever Kohei Morihara (2-2).
With two outs, Yamakawa doubled in the go-ahead run before Nakamura got caught at the plate.
Seibu lefty Ryuya Ogawa (4-1) picked up the win for 1⅔ scoreless innings of relief, and Tatsushi Masuda stranded a runner on third in the ninth for his 26th save.
Hawks 9, Marines 6
At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Kenji Akashi delivered a two-RBI double in the eighth to lift the Hawks to a win over Chiba Lotte.
Fighters 2, Buffaloes 0
At Sapporo Dome, Chihiro Kaneko (6-7) got the win, striking out five over six scoreless innings against his former team.
Carp 3, Tigers 2
At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Hanshin rallied for a pair of runs in the eighth inning but was unable to complete the comeback
Dragons 5, BayStars 2
At Nagoya Dome, Nobumasa Fukuda drove in three runs to lead Chunichi to its sixth straight win.
Giants at Swallows —ppd.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5