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Ginormous victory ...

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Ginormous victory ...

Giants use big inning to snap skid

If the Yomiuri Giants are going to stay relevant in the Central League pennant chase, they have to do something to turn things around.

A four-run inning and four perfect innings of relief helped the fifth-place Giants complete a ginormous comeback for a 4-3 win over the fourth-place Hiroshima Carp on Friday at Tokyo Dome could get them headed toward a playoff spot.

Hayato Sakamoto put the finishing touches on a hit-’em-where-they-ain’t sixth inning, lacing a single to right that put the Giants in front, and three relievers combined to set down all 12 Carp batters they faced as Yomiuri stopped a four-game skid.

“More than the hit I got, I’m just very happy about the fact that we got a win,” said Sakamoto, who admitted, “Things haven’t been going well for the team recently….”

Said skipper Tatsunori Hara: “It has been a while, but I guess you could say the guys who are supposed to hit did the job and strung the hits together.

“Today the relief pitching was just as we had imagined it would be.”

Hisayoshi Chono and Alex Ramirez opened the sixth with singles off Kenta Maeda (3-6), and Chono came home on Shinnosuke Abe’s double. Yoshinobu Takahashi, who thrown out at the plate in the fourth inning, singled in the second run and Michihiro “Guts” Ogasawara tied it with an RBI single to set up Sakamoto’s heroics.

Kenta Kurihara had an RBI double in the third and a run-scoring hit in the fifth to help give the Carp a 3-0 lead.

DRAGONS 5, BAYSTARS 2

Chen Wei-yin (3-6) halted his personal five-game skid, working 7.1 innings of two-run ball, and veteran reserve Masaaki Koike doubled twice and drove in a run to help Chunichi beat Yokohama at Nagoya Dome.

The BayStars, who have the highest ERA in Japan, got Naoyuki Shimizu (0-2) back from injury, but the 35-year-old had a throwing error to contribute to his own demise. Shimizu allowed four runs, one earned, on five hits with four Ks and no walks.

Takuya Asao, not Hitoki Iwase, worked the ninth for Chunichi to collect his fourth save.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

MARINES 4, HAWKS 0

Yoshihisa Naruse (6-6) fired his third shutout, the 10th of his career, scattering five hits with one walk and 11 punchouts as fourth-place Lotte blanked front-running SoftBank at FYJ Dome.

Masato Watanabe, a 14-year veteran getting more chances to play recently, doubled in a pair of runs in the sixth in support of Naruse.


BUFFALOES 7, LIONS 3

Hayato Terahara (9-4) won his seventh straight decision, and Takahiro “T.O.” Okada knocked in two runs while So Taguchi had a two-run double in a three-run eighth that put the game away as visiting Orix topped fading Seibu.

Terahara, who hasn’t lost since May 17 to Hanshin, allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks over six innings.

The Lions have lost six straight.

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