German cracks slam as Lions rally past Fighters
The Seibu Lions fired a shot that might have echoed around the Pacific League on Saturday.
Esteban German highlighted a nine-run sixth, Seibu's highest-scoring frame since Cinco de Mayo, 2010, by capping a stunning rally with the go-ahead blast as the Lions came back to maul the visiting Nippon Han Fighters 10-5.
German became the 15th player in league history to hit a slam as his first homer. The Lions moved into fourth place, their highest spot since April 29.
It wasn't just a grand slam, it was a grand comeback -- from five runs down. The Lions moved above .500 (5-4) since slugger Takeya Nakamura went down with a shoulder injury and they've won the first two of this three-game set by coming from behind.
Hiroyuki Nakajima also went deep, punishing Mitsuo Yoshikawa (7-2), who sailed through the first five innings before getting a chased with the bases loaded in the sixth. Obviously the Fighters didn’t provide relief, allowing all three inherited runners -- and nearly anyone in the vicinity of home plate -- to score.
Kazuhisa Makida (6-5) got touched up for five runs in six innings, but walked away a winner.
BUFFALOES 3, MARINES 0
Hayato Terahara (3-5) tossed a five-hitter for his first shutout of the season, and Aarom Baldiris knocked in all the offense the righty would need with a first-inning single as Orix beat Lotte at Kyocera Dome Osaka.
Lee Dae Ho had two hits to back Terahara, who fanned four and walked one.
EAGLES 8, HAWKS 4
Kelvin Jimenez (4-7) tossed six shutout innings and Teppei Tsuchiya had two hits and three RBIs as Rakuten downed visiting SoftBank.
Shintaro Masuda also drove in two to back Jimenez, who worked into the ninth to win his second straight start.
GIANTS 4, DRAGONS 2
Shinnosuke Abe continued tormenting Chunichi, ripping a two-run single in a four-run first that propelled host Yomiuri into a first-place tie with the Dragons.
Toshiya Sugiuchi (9-2) tossed six innings as Chunichi lost its club-worst seventh straight at Tokyo Dome.
BAYSTARS 6, CARP 2
Takehiro Ishikawa had four hits and drive in a run as Yokohama snapped its latest skid -- five games -- by topping Hiroshima at The Zoom.
Kazunari Tsuruoka's two-run single in the third broke a 1-1 tie, and Shugo Fujii (3-2) and four relievers held the Carp to stop a five-game skid at The Zoom and a nine-game losing streak to Hiroshima.
TIGERS 6, SWALLOWS 4
Takashi Toritani went deep for his third shot, and added a sac fly in the fifth that broke a tie as Hanshin edged Yakult at Jingu Stadium.
Craig Brazell also homered, his eighth, as Hanshin ended a four-game skid.