Eagles outlast Lions in wild, wet, high-scoring 1-run game
In a game with just about everything, the Seibu Lions came up with nothing.
Luis Garcia slugged a tying solo blast and Teppei Tsuchiya later snuck home on what turned out to be a sac fly to medium right in the eighth inning as the Rakuten Eagles outlasted the Lions 8-7 at The Kleenex Box on Thursday.
The Eagles blew a 4-0 lead, cut down a runner at the plate then overcame a one-run deficit late to preserve the victory.
Third-year righty Tomohiro Tsuchiya (1-0) picked up his first pro win with 2 outs in relief, and Koji Aoyama worked a perfect ninth for his second save in as many days.
Garcia went 3-for-3 with his third homer and a walk.
Ryo Hijirisawa sent the flyball to right that allowed Tsuchiya to score in the bottom of the eighth. Seibu’s Shogo Akiyama fired a one-hopper to the plate and catcher Takanori Hoshi blocked the plate.
He thought he put the tag on Tsuchiya, but home plate umpire Kenjiro Mori ruled the tag late and the runner safe. Hoshi got the thumb for pushing Mori.
Backup Seibu catcher Takayuki Uemoto was the DH, so Hoshi, who had come in for a banged-up Ginjiro Sumitani, caused the Lions to go to emergency catcher Hidekazu Hoshi.
In the top of the eighth, Akihisa Makida gunned down Takuya Hara at the plate on a flyball to right and that play proved to be the difference. Makida sent a bullet and Motohiro Shima grabbed it and applied the tag to end the inning.
Kensuke Uchimura had two hits, including a triple, and four RBIs for the Eagles, who gave Senichi Hoshino his career 999th managerial victory.
Jose Fernandez had a double and his first triple since 2007. The Eagles in fourth inning appeared to be in a hurry to get to the fifth inning with a heavy rain coming down, but the weather didn’t cooperate.
HAWKS 6, BUFFALOES 6
Pinch-hitter Nobuhiko Matsunaka’s two-out, two-run blast got SoftBank even in the eighth and they pitched out of a pair of jams to earn at tie against Orix in Kobe.
SWALLOWS 3, DRAGONS 1
Ryosuke Morioka knocked in the tying run and pinch-hitter Kazuki Fukuchi doubled in the winning run as Yakult scored three times in the eighth to top Chunichi at Nagoya Dome and salvage the series finale.
Reigning MVP Takuya Asao blew another lead, unofficially his third of the season, after starter Yudai Kawai carried a shutout into the eighth but put two on with one out. Asao, who allowed four runs in 79 innings last season, has allowed four already this year.
BAYSTARS 1, GIANTS 1
Yoshitomo Tsutsugo smacked a single to score the tying run in the eighth and Yokohama came back on Yomiuri for a tie for the second time in the three-game series as the BayStars earned a tie.
The Fighters and Mariners were rained out at The Q.