BayStars’ Kubo shows poise, rises to challenge against Dragons


Veteran Yasutomo Kubo allowed two runs in seven innings to pace the Yokohama BayStars to a 7-3 Central League victory over the Chunichi Dragons on Tuesday evening.

Kubo, working with a lead after Takayuki Kajitani’s two-run, first-inning double, allowed the Dragons to tie it in the bottom of the first after a pair of infield singles, an error and a wild pitch.

The 35-year-old right-hander worked around a pair of one-out hits in the second before getting the lead for good. When he issued back-to-back, two-out walks in the sixth to load the bases, Kubo escaped by striking out Anderson Hernandez.

Kubo struck out 10, while surrendering six hits and two walks to even his record at 5-5.

Before 25,751 at Nagoya Dome, Dragons starter Shunta Wakamatsu (7-7) allowed five runs on seven hits and two walks. After his teammates tied it in the first, the right-handed changeup artist let the game get away from him in the third.

Masayuki Kuwahara doubled with one out and went to third on a groundout. Kajitani walked and stole second before a wild fourth ball to Yoshitomo Tsutsugo allowed Kuwahara to score the tie-breaking run. Jose Lopez then delivered a game-changing, two-run double.

Kajitani homered in the seventh and Lopez added a solo shot in the eighth for the BayStars, who are seeking to return to the postseason for the first time since they won the Japan Series in 1998.

Tigers 5, Swallows 3

At Koshien Stadium, Mauro Gomez hit a tiebreaking, two-run home run as Hanshin came from behind after Tokyo Yakult’s Tetsuto Yamada opened the scoring in the first by hitting his NPB-best 30th home run with two men on.

Carp at Giants — ppd.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Hawks 6, Eagles 0

At Sendai’s Kobo Stadium, Shota Takeda (10-4) threw a four-hitter, and Seiichi Uchikawa singled in two runs in the first inning as league-leading Fukuoka SoftBank cruised past Tohoku Rakuten.

Fighters 4, Lions 1

At Tokorozawa’s Seibu Prince Dome, Shohei Otani had three hits off Seibu ace Takayuki Kishi (4-5), scored the game’s first run and doubled home the second as Hokkaido Nippon Ham got six strong innings and a win from Luis Mendoza (7-4).

Marines 6, Buffaloes 3

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Shunichi Nemoto’s one-out, pinch-hit single broke a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning, and Daichi Suzuki followed with a game-breaking, two-run double as Chiba Lotte defeated last-place Orix.

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