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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Home runs propel Giants past Marines


Shinnosuke Abe and Hisayoshi Chono both hit two-run homers Monday, leading Yomiuri from a four-run deficit en route to an 8-4 win over the Chiba Lotte Marines as the Giants took over first place in interleague play.

News photo
Giant impact: Yomiuri star Shinnosuke Abe smacks a two-run home run in the fifth inning against Chiba Lotte on Monday at Tokyo Dome. The Giants defeated the Marines 8-4. KYODO

Trailing 4-0 after three innings, Edgar Gonzalez delivered a two-run single in the fourth and Abe connected to right-center off reliever Taiki Nakago (0-1) as Yomiuri grabbed a 5-4 lead in the fifth at Tokyo Dome.

"I spoiled our chances early in the game in my early at-bats, so I wanted a chance and I was able to drive the ball in that situation," said Abe, who hit his eighth home run of the year on a low and inside fastball. "I made a good reaction with my bat."

Chono went deep to center to key a three-run sixth. Yomiuri starter Toshiya Sugiuchi was chased after allowing a season-worst four runs in three innings, but the Giants bullpen pulled it together, with Yasunari Takagi (1-0) getting the win in relief.

Lotte's Toshiaki Imae hit a two-out solo blast to open the scoring in the second before Saburo Omura capped a three-run third with a two-run double, making it 4-0.

The Giants improved to 2-2 against the Marines and remained one game behind the Central League-leading Chunichi Dragons.

Eagles 5, BayStars 1

At Yokohama Stadium, Toshiya Nakashima had a two-run single and Akihisa Makida chipped in with a three-run homer to complete a five-run third inning as Tohoku Rakuten went on to beat Yokohama and snap a three-game skid.

Nakashima singled to left with one out and the bases loaded and Makida followed with a blast to the stands in left off lefty Kenjiro Tanaka (0-1).

Manabu Mima (4-1) pitched one-run ball, scattering seven hits and one walk over 8 1/3 innings.

Tigers 1, Hawks 0

At Koshien Stadium, Minoru Iwata (5-5) allowed three hits over eight innings, and a scoreless deadlock was broken in the eighth on an errant throw by Fukuoka Softbank catcher Toru Hosokawa on an attempted pick off at third, giving the Tigers a win over the Hawks.

Kyuji Fujikawa worked the ninth for his 12th save.

Softbank's Hiroki Yamada (5-5) took the loss, despite limiting the damage to one unearned run in eight innings of four-hit ball.

Dragons 1, Fighters 0 (11)

At Nagoya Dome, Hirokazu Ibata singled home the winning run off Hokkaido Nippon Ham closer Hisashi Takeda (2-2) with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning, lifting Chunichi to its third walkoff victory this season.

Takeda allowed two hits and an intentional walk to Kazuhiro Wada to load the bases, setting the stage for Ibata to send the Fighters closer to his second straight blown save. Yuta Muto (2-0) got the win in relief.

Lions 5, Swallows 1

At Tokyo's Jingu Stadium, Takayuki Kishi limited the damage to one run in eight innings, and Yasuyuki Kataoka went 3-for-4 with an RBI single as Seibu downed Yakult.

Takeya Nakamura opened the scoring with an RBI single in the third and Ginjiro Sumitani, Kataoka and Hiroyuki Nakajima added run-scoring singles in the sixth.

The Swallows fell to a losing record in interleague play for the third year in a row.

Carp 6, Buffaloes 1

At Hiroshima Prefecture's Miyoshi Stadium, Shota Dobayashi hit a three-run homer to cap a four-run third inning and Kan Otake (5-2) went 6 2/3 shutout frames as Hiroshima routed Orix.

Buffaloes starter Evan MacLane (3-3) was roughed up for four runs in 2 2/3 innings.

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