Takeda, Nippon Ham KO front-running Marines
The Nippon Ham Fighters had taken it on the chin the past week. They delivered the big blows on Tuesday at Sapporo Dome to post just their second win this month, knocking off the Lotte Marines 5-1.
Masaru Takeda (5-5) tossed 7.1 innings of one-run ball to win for the first time since April 29, and Yang Zhong-shou had an RBI double and a two-run triple in the eighth to ice it as the Pacific League’s second-place Fighters took down the front-running Marines.
It was 10th game since Takeda had last won, and he was in rare comedic form during the hero interview on his 34th birthday.
“I’ve been away from the podium for the past few months, I just feel really awkward up here,” he quipped. When told the fans had been waiting to seeing him on the podium, he replied: “I’ve been waiting the most.”
Yang doubled to tie the score in the fourth, and Shinya Tsuruoka followed two batters later with an RBI double to give the Fighters the lead.
Yang later in the game tripled with two outs and two on, and came around to score when the throw trying to nail him at third got away from the infield.
Takeda scattered six hits with no walks and three Ks, and Hisashi Takeda nailed it down with a perfect ninth for his ninth save.
The Fighters have been scuffling, losing five consecutive series, but won the opener of this three-game set.
LIONS 5, HAWKS 2
Yutaro Osaki had an RBI double in the second and got plunked with the bases loaded to help back a career-long 8.1-inning effort by Ryoma Nogami (3-3) as Seibu topped SoftBank at Seibu Dome.
Hideaki Wakui worked the ninth for his seventh save.
EAGLES 6, BUFFALOES 3, 10 INNINGS
Seventh-year pro Shintaro Masuda stroked his first career walk-off hit, a three-run homer off Orix closer Mamoru Kishida (2-2), as Rakuten won for the third time in four games.
Masuda also doubled in the fourth, and Kazuo Matsui had a game-tying two-bagger in the fifth to even the score at 3-3.
BAYSTARS 6, SWALLOWS 1
Shugo Fujii (4-2) and four relievers held Yakult to four hits and three walks, and Hichori Morimoto ripped a three-run homer in the eighth as Yokohama halted a four-game skid.
Yokohama’s bullpen worked 3.2 innings of one-hit ball -- walking one to close it out -- and sending Yakult to its third straight loss.
TIGERS 1, DRAGONS 0
Takahiro Arai’s popfly RBI double in the third backed Jason Standridge (5-4), who wriggled out of trouble [eight hits and a hit batter] over six innings for his first win since May 25 to help Hanshin top visiting Chunichi and snap a six-game skid.
The Dragons had nine hits and drew four walks to leave 16 runners on -- their highest since April 22, 2006 -- to suffer their sixth shutout loss this season.
GIANTS 7, CARP 4
Edgar Gonzalez had a hit and two RBIs and Yomiuri took advantage of two errors to score three unearned runs and early beat Hiroshima in a Giants home game at Kyocera Dome.
A four-run fourth and a three-run sixth helped the front-running Giants win their fifth straight, while the Carp saw their five-game winning string snapped.
[Edited by: jgibson on Jul 11, 2012 9:11 PM]