Wily Mo Pena broke the balance with a tiebreaking three-run home run in the sixth inning as the Orix Buffaloes held off the Softbank Hawks 6-5 to regain first place in the Pacific League on Thursday night.
Pena's 20th homer of the season came off Hawks starter Sho Iwasaki (2-1), a dinger over the left-field wall that made it 6-2 at Yafuoku Dome.
Orix shortstop Ryoichi Adachi, who drove in two runs, added insurance with an RBI single the same inning in front of a Hawks' partisan crowd of 29,907. The Hawks rallied to score two runs in the eighth before Yuki Yanagita led off the ninth with a drive to the stands in left off closer Yoshihisa Hirano, but it wasn't enough.
Hirano struck out the next three he faced for his 26th save.
Chihiro Kaneko (8-3) yielded four runs -- two earned -- and eight hits in eight innings for the win. He struck out six and walked one batter. Softbank dropped back into second place.
Marines 7, Lions 6
At Seibu Dome, Tadahito Iguchi delivered a pair of two-run doubles, featuring his tiebreaking extra-base hit in the seventh inning as Lotte overcame an early five-run deficit en route to staving off Seibu to snap a six-game skid. Cody Ransom had a grand slam in Seibu's big inning in the first. Seibu slipped into fifth.
Fighters 7, Eagles 6, 10 innings
At Kobo Stadium Miyagi, pinch-hitter Eiichi Koyano led off the ninth with a homer to tie it and Kensuke Kondo had a two-out clutch RBI single in the 10th inning to lift Nippon Ham past Rakuten. Kazuya Fujita went 4-for-6 with an RBI single and a run scored for Rakuten.
Dragons 7, Swallows 4
At Jingu Stadium, pinch-hitter Michihiro Ogasawara chipped in with a bases-loaded, two-run single that gave Chunichi the lead for good in a four-run seventh as it came from behind to beat Yakult. Dragons starter Shinji Iwata (2-0) allowed three runs in six innings.