The BayStars faced an uphill battle against one of Japan's best bullpens, but got it done in a come-from-behind victory on Sunday afternoon.
A run down in the eighth, Yokohama tied it against Tokyo Yakult setup man Ryota Igarashi and took the lead against closer Lim Chang Yong (3-1) in a 2-1 victory over the Swallows at Jingu Stadium.
Before a crowd of 23,341 that included the crown prince and princess and their daughter Aiko, the BayStars snapped Igarashi's string of 25 straight scoreless innings, and handed Lim his first earned run of the season in the ninth to win it.
"I was in a situation where I couldn't allow a run but I did," said the South Korean stopper, who recently extended his contract with the Swallows through the 2010 season. "My form is not as good as it was in the beginning of the season, although it's not because of fatigue."
The BayStars' Takehiro Ishikawa set up the decisive run by singling to open the ninth and stealing second. A sacrifice got him to third, and Kazuya Fujita brought him home with a sacrifice fly.
"We had good team batting," said acting BayStars' skipper Tomio Tashiro.
"And that's essential for us.
"Since we resumed Central League play, we've had a lot of close games and our play has been more consistent."
Lefty Kosuke Kato retired Aaron Guiel on a disputed call at first base to open the bottom of the ninth, and closer Shun Yamaguchi got two quick outs for his 10th save.
Through seven, Swallows starter Masanori Ishikawa appeared to have the edge against fellow lefty Yuji Yoshimi.
Ishikawa allowed two hits, while the Swallows managed a run on eight hits against Yoshimi.
The hosts went ahead when Swallows captain Shinya Miyamoto legged out a leadoff double in the second and scored from third on Keizo Kawashima's one-out single.
The visitors, however, tied it against Igarashi. With two outs and two on with walks, cleanup hitter Shuichi Murata delivered an RBI double.
The Swallows still appeared to be sitting pretty with Lim on the mound in the top of the ninth. On Friday, the closer had come within a whisker of seeing his 0.00 ERA go up in smoke, and was saved by a great defensive play and a base-running error.