YOKOHAMA – Kosuke Fukudome and Kento Itohara got to Yokohama closer Spencer Patton to help lift the Central-League leading Hanshin Tigers 10 games above .500 after a 4-2 win over the BayStars on Sunday.
Patton (2-2) had a 1-2-3 inning in each of his last four outings but allowed Yamato Maeda a single with his first pitch before walking Yoshio Itoi.
Fukudome singled to right to plate the go-ahead run before pinch hitter Itohara drove in another with a two-out, bases-loaded single at Yokohama Stadium.
“I tried to at least advance the runners,” Fukudome said. “My at-bat wasn’t bad before that either. I had a decent hit going straight to one of their players. But I wasn’t feeling good nevertheless and it was good to get a hit.”
Hanshin starter Shintaro Fujinami issued a walk and gave up a single to Takayuki Kajitani to start the first before Jose Lopez plated both runners. But the Tigers tied the game in the next inning with Yokohama starter Shota Imanaga also getting off to a rough start.
Back-to-back doubles from Fumihito Haraguchi and Takashi Toritani made it a 2-1 game. Imanaga’s wild pitch moved Toritani to third, and Fumiya Hojo drove him home with a sac fly to left.
Both starters recovered from thereon, Fujinami throwing 106 pitches over seven innings allowing five hits with four walks, a hit batsman and four strikeouts. Marcos Mateo (3-0) earned the win after a scoreless eighth, and Rafael Dolis posted his CL-leading 15th save.
Imanaga threw 99 pitches with a walk and five hits while fanning five over six innings. Relievers Yasuaki Yamasaki and Tomoya Mikami each threw a scoreless inning, but Patton failed to follow suit.
Swallows 5, Dragons 1
At Matsuyama Stadium, Takahiro Araki blasted a walk-off grand slam for Tokyo Yakult after Chunichi’s Yudai Ono (0-4) walked three in the ninth. Kazuki Yoshimi held the Swallows to a run over eight innings but his team stranded 13 runners.
Carp 8, Giants 1
At Mazda Stadium, Hiroshima’s Seiya Suzuki hit a tie-breaking two-run shot in the sixth off Yomiuri starter Kazuto Taguchi (3-1). Allen Kuri (3-3) held the Giants to a run on three hits in six innings.
Eagles 9, Hawks 2
At Yafuoku Dome, first-place Tohoku Rakuten’s Eigoro Mogi hit a fifth-inning grand slam in between home runs by Zealous Wheeler and Ginji Akaminai in defeating second-place Fukuoka SoftBank. Takayuki Kishi (3-0) pitched one-run ball over seven innings.
Lions 6, Buffaloes 1
At Kyocera Dome Osaka, Seibu rookie Sosuke Genda went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Brian Wolfe (5-1) held Orix to a run in seven innings as the Lions went a game above .500 with the Buffaloes suffering their sixth straight defeat.
Fighters 4, Marines 2
At Tokyo Dome, Hokkaido Nippon Ham won its fourth straight after Brandon Laird, who on Saturday became the 20th player in Nippon Professional Baseball to go deep in four consecutive at-bats, drove in the go-ahead run in the fifth, while Chiba Lotte suffered its third five game losing streak of the season.