Japanese Baseball

Giants slay Dragons after late rally

Kyodo

The Central League-leading Yomiuri Giants overpowered the Chunichi Dragons 6-1 on Thursday, with Kazuma Okamoto driving in the go-ahead run as part of a five-run rally in the eighth.

Yomiuri starter Cristopher Mercedes (2-2) got the win after throwing seven innings of one-run ball. The southpaw from the Dominican Republic left the game with the scores tied after striking out eight, while allowing six hits and a walk.

Chunichi reliever Hiroto Fuku (1-1) took the loss after coming in as third reliever following a five-inning start from Yuichiro Okano.

After a 1-2-3 first, Mercedes loaded the corners in the second with two outs, but retired the side on a Takuma Kato grounder.

Takumi Oshiro hit a solo home run to put the Giants ahead with one out in the top of the fourth, sending Okano's 1-1 curve ball over the left field wall at Nagoya Dome.

The opposite field homer was the third long shot of the season for the 27-year-old catcher, who throws right and bats left.

The Dragons tied it up in the sixth, leading off the inning on back-to-back singles from Yohei Oshima and Nobumasa Fukuda. Dayan Viciedo scored Oshima with a single through center, finding the gap after beating the outstretched glove of Mercedes.

The Giants broke open the game with Fuku on the mound in the eighth.

Hayato Sakamoto doubled following a Yoshiyuki Kamei single to put runners on second and third with no outs.

After Yoshihiro Maru drew a walk, Okamoto drove in two runs as he doubled a 2-2 fastball to left.

Dragons manager Tsuyoshi Yoda stuck with Fuku, and the left-hander retired the next two batters, but pinch hitter Zelous Wheeler liked the first pitch he saw and went long to left for a two-run blast that scored Okamoto.

At Yokohama Stadium, Shinichi Onuki (2-2) carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning as the Yokohama DeNA BayStars beat the Tokyo Yakult Swallows 6-0.

At Koshien Stadium, Jose Pirela hit a grand slam in the sixth as the Hiroshima Carp came from behind to beat the Hanshin Tigers 4-2.

In the Pacific League, Seiji Kawagoe put the Seibu Lions ahead with a two-run blast in a 3-2 win over the Chiba Lotte Marines at MetLife Dome.

At PayPay Dome, the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters did all their scoring in the second inning of their 3-2 win against the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.

The Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles and the Orix Buffaloes finished in a 2-2 tie after 10 innings at Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi.

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