Justin Smoak homered and drove in three runs to lift the defending Central League champion Yomiuri Giants past the Pacific League’s Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks 4-3 on Sunday in interleague action.
Smoak singled in two first-inning runs off Tsuyoshi Wada (3-3), and after Kazuma Okamoto broke a 2-2 fifth-inning tie with his 14th home run, Smoak went deep in the eighth inning, driving in an insurance run with his sixth homer of the season.
Giants right-hander Shosei Togo (5-2) frequently pitched out of trouble to allow just two runs through five innings and earn the win.
The victory was Yomiuri’s first against SoftBank since June 22, 2019, snapping a streak of 11 straight losses to the Hawks, including eight straight in the Japan Series.
“We failed to play well yesterday, and the day before, so I was keen to do whatever I could to help us get one back against them,” Togo said.
“This is a confidence boost to be able to hold their lineup to just two runs.”
The Hawks tied it in the second, but for the first time in the series were unable to take the lead. Yuya Hasegawa singled in a run in the ninth, when SoftBank stranded two runners.
Rubby De La Rossa, the Giants’ seventh pitcher, retired one batter in the ninth to earn his seventh save.
At Sapporo Dome, Dayan Viciedo homered, doubled, walked and scored twice to pace the Chunichi Dragons to a 4-1 win over the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters.
At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi, Takero Okajima broke a seventh-inning tie with a two-run triple in the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles’ 5-1 win over the Yokohama DeNA BayStars.
At MetLife Dome, Yoshio Itoi and Ryutaro Umeno each homered and drove in three runs for the CL-leading Hanshin Tigers in a 9-8 win over the Saitama Seibu Lions.
At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Kazuya Ojima (2-2) allowed a run over six innings as the Chiba Lotte Marines beat the Hiroshima Carp 7-1.
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Masataka Yoshida tripled in two eighth-inning runs as the Orix Buffaloes came from behind to beat the Tokyo Yakult Swallows 8-7.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.