YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) -- Zoilo Almonte went 4-for-4 and doubled in the go-ahead run as the Chunichi Dragons beat the DeNA BayStars 7-3 in the Central League on Thursday.
By winning eight straight games for the first time in 10 years, the Dragons moved into a tie with DeNA for second place, 10 games back of the runaway Yomiuri Giants.
With the game tied 1-1 after four innings, BayStars starter Shota Imanaga allowed a one-out infield single and hit a batter to bring Almonte to the plate. He drove a low fastball that center fielder Kazuki Kamizato misjudged and was unable to haul in, plating a run and putting Chunichi ahead for good.
"I'm happy to repay the fans for their support with this win," Almonte said through an interpreter. "It was a team effort."
Almonte singled in the first, assisting in the Dragons' run, scored by Yohei Oshima on a sacrifice fly. Oshima scored in the fourth, and iced the game in the eighth with a two-run single.
Dragons lefty Enny Romero (6-6) allowed three runs over six-plus innings after walking four, allowing five hits and striking out four.
Imanaga (8-5) was charged with five runs, three earned, on seven hits, two walks and a hit batsman. The lefty struck out six.
"(To throw) 112 pitches in five innings is not the usual Imanaga and unfortunately we could not come back from that," BayStars manager Alex Ramirez said. "We made a couple of mistakes and we lost our momentum. We didn't hit sometimes and that's part of the game."