TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Yomiuri Giants starter Shosei Togo struck out nine over six innings, but the Central League leaders had to settle for a 1-1 tie with the Yakult Swallows on Tuesday after the last-place club rallied late.
The Swallows tied it up in the ninth to keep 20-year-old rookie right-hander Togo stuck at 8-5 for the season after he allowed just three hits and walked six in his 134-pitch outing. The Giants' magic number for the CL pennant remains at seven following the tie.
Yomiuri took the lead in the top of the sixth at Jingu Stadium after Seiya Matsubara connected on Yakult starter Hirotoshi Takanashi's 2-1 cutter for a triple, then came home on Hayato Sakamoto's single.
Giants right-hander Rubby De La Rosa got into a one-out jam with runners on first and third in the ninth inning after Naomichi Nishiura's single. But he struck out Taishi Hirooka before manager Tatsunori Hara gave the ball to southpaw Ryusei Oe for the final out with Norichika Aoki at the plate.
The former major leaguer, however, drew a walk from Oe to load the bases. Toyoki Tanaka walked in the tying run against Tetsuto Yamada, bringing Munetaka Murakami to the plate. But the 20-year-old power hitter grounded out, forcing the game into a 10th and final inning.
In other CL action, the second-place Chunichi Dragons blew away the DeNA BayStars 6-1 at Nagoya Dome, and the Hiroshima Carp beat the Hanshin Tigers 5-1 at Koshien Stadium.
In the Pacific League, Nobuhiro Matsuda belted a three-run homer in the fifth as the first-place SoftBank Hawks hammered the Nippon Ham Fighters 11-2 at Sapporo Dome.
Reigning Japan Series champions SoftBank increased their lead over the second-place Lotte Marines to 6.5 games with the win.
Lotte went down 2-1 against the Seibu Lions, who secured a sayonara win in the bottom of the ninth at MetLife Dome after Leonys Martin dropped a fly ball from Kakeru Yamanobe, allowing Shuta Tonosaki to round from second.
The Rakuten Eagles and Orix Buffaloes played out a 1-1 tie at Sendai's Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi after the Eagles' Torai Fushimi leveled the scores with a solo blast in the ninth.