SENDAI – Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka flummoxed another would-be lineup, continuing his stunning run from the start of the season by winning his 11th consecutive decision in the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles’ 7-0 triumph over the Chiba Lotte Marines on Tuesday night.
Second-place Rakuten improved to a season-high nine games above .500 and closed the gap to one game against Pacific League leader Lotte after taking the first game of the three-game set at Kleenex Stadium.
Tanaka (11-0) struck out six and walked none and held his opponent scoreless, despite allowing nine hits over eight innings. He extended his streak without yielding a run to 31 innings, lifting the Eagles to their third win in a row.
Ginji Akaminai had a two-run single in a three-run second and Casey McGehee hit his 16th homer, a leadoff blast in the fifth, to contribute in the 11-hit attack.
Yuki Karakawa (4-6) was roughed up for six runs — five earned — in five innings of work for the Marines.
Buffaloes 4, Lions 3
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Yoshio Itoi broke a 1-1 tie with an RBI double in the sixth and Shunta Goto homered in his second consecutive game after hitting his career first home run over the weekend as Orix rallied past Seibu.
Buffaloes starter Chihiro Kaneko (6-5) limited the damage to one run and five hits in seven innings and Yoshihisa Hirano picked up his 17th save. Takahiro Okada went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, featuring a tying RBI double in the second.
Kazuhisa Makita (4-6) took the loss.
Swallows 5, BayStars 0
At Hiratsuka Stadium, Lastings Milledge hit a pair of homers off Kazuki Mishima (2-4) and Wladimir Balentien also went deep off the rookie, hitting a two-run drive for his Japanese baseball-leading 26th home run, as Tokyo Yakult blanked Yokohama.
Left-hander Ryosuke Yagi (2-6) pitched a three-hitter and issued zero walks in his first career shutout.
Balentien got off to a slow start to the season due to injury but the CL home run king for the past two seasons has been on a tear since his return, homering in four consecutive at-bats in June to match a Japanese baseball record.
Carp 8, Dragons 5
Giants 3, Tigers 2