Sports

Gregory Polanco and rookie Taisei Ota clinch Giants win


Longtime Pittsburgh Pirates’ outfielder Gregory Polanco brought the Yomiuri Giants from behind with a two-run eighth-inning double, while rookie Taisei Ota pitched a perfect ninth to earn his 11th save in a 5-3 Central League win over the Hiroshima Carp on Wednesday.

Trailing 3-0 in the sixth, Giants’ cleanup hitter Kazuma Okamoto singled home Naoki Yoshikawa and Hayato Sakamoto to make it a 3-2 game. Yoshikawa then doubled with one out in the eighth, followed by a Sakamoto walk.

Polanco, in his first season in Japan after eight years with the Pirates, doubled home Yoshikawa and Sakamoto, capping off Yomiuri’s three-run eighth to make it a 4-3 game. It was Polanco’s only hit of the game for the CL leaders.

Giants lefty Yuki Takahashi (1-0) worked two scoreless innings of relief to earn the win. Carp leadoff man Ryoma Nishikawa’s two-run homer opened the scoring in the fifth off Giants lefty C.C. Mercedes.

Ota, the Giants’ top draft pick last fall, struck out one in the ninth to close it out.

Elsewhere, Neftali Soto’s 10th-inning home run lifted the DeNA BayStars to a 1-0 win over the last-place Hanshin Tigers, while the Chunichi Dragons beat the Yakult Swallows 4-1.

In the Pacific League, the Lotte Marines were shut out for the third straight game, 3-0 to the Seibu Lions, while the Rakuten Eagles beat the Nippon Ham Fighters 4-2, and the Orix Buffaloes beat the SoftBank Hawks 3-2.

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