BayStars blast Sawamura to snap Giants' six-game win streak

Toshihiko Kuramoto's pinch-hit RBI single capped a four-run fourth inning as the DeNA BayStars ended the Yomiuri Giants' six-game winning streak with a 9-2 victory on Saturday.
Before 31,780 fans at Yokohama Stadium, the Giants sent former closer Hirokazu Sawamura to the mound for his first start in five years. The right-hander held the BayStars to a run through three innings, but surrendered a 2-1 lead in the fourth, when he issued two walks and allowed a game-tying double to former Giant Jose Lopez.
Lopez doubled twice, singled and scored twice, a day after he broke Lee Seung Yeop's Central League record of 1,225 consecutive errorless chances at first base. Lopez has won three straight Golden Gloves and four overall.
After Sawamura (0-1) was yanked, a walk and a groundout produced the go-ahead run. Kuramoto, batting for starting pitcher Masaya Kyoyama, singled in two runs to make it 5-2.
"Right now my role is off the bench. Since they went to me, I'm happy I could get a big hit," Kuramoto said.
Yuki Kuniyoshi led the BayStars bullpen by striking out four of the next seven batters. The 1.96-meter right-hander hit 161 kilometers (100 miles) per hour, becoming the sixth Japanese pitcher to throw a pitch clocked at 160 kph or faster.
"From the reaction of the crowd, I was wondering what was going on," said Kuniyoshi (1-0), who earned his first win since 2015.
"I have numerical goals, but not on the speed gun. My focus is on getting good results throughout the season."
Lefty Edwin Escobar, right-hander Spencer Patton and closer Yasuaki Yamasaki finished up for the hosts.
Elsewhere in the CL, Seiya Suzuki homered twice and drove in five runs as the Hiroshima Carp beat the Hanshin Tigers 10-3.
One out away from a 12-inning tie, Norichika Aoki homered to lift Yakult to a 4-3 sayonara win over the Chunichi Dragons.
In the Pacific League, the Lotte Marines handed the SoftBank Hawks a second straight loss, bombarding them with four home runs in a 7-3 win.
The Orix Buffaloes beat the Rakuten Eagles 3-1 for their second straight win. Joey Meneses drove in all three Buffaloes' runs.
Tomoya Mori homered, drove in four runs and scored three, to lead the Seibu Lions' 16-3 battering of the Nippon Ham Fighters.

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