CHIBA – Hisashi Iwakuma posted his seventh win for the most in the Pacific League after pitching his fourth straight complete game in seven starts from Opening Day, powering the Kintetsu Buffaloes to a 5-1 victory over the Lotte Marines on Sunday.
Iwakuma (7-0) retired the side in order in the first, third, seventh, eighth and ninth innings at Chiba Marine Stadium and yielded just five hits along the way while striking out eight and walking none in his 112-pitch outing to improve his ERA to 2.17.
Fighters 2, Lions 1
At Seibu Dome, Yoshinori Ueda singled with two out and a runner on third in the seventh inning as Nippon Ham edged the front-running Lions.
Hawks 8, BlueWave 7
At Fukuoka Dome, Daiei leveled the game on a Kazuo Yamaguchi (1-1) bases-loaded wild pitch in the ninth inning and Mitsuru Honma singled down the left field line for the winner two pitches later as Orix squandered a one-run lead taken through the top half in a “sayonara” loss.
Tigers 16, Dragons 5
At Koshien Stadium, Makoto Imaoka hit his first of two homers in an eight-run rally in the fourth inning and had a team-high six RBIs to lead an 18-hit offense as Hanshin crushed Chunichi.
BayStars 8, Swallows 7
At Hitachinaka Stadium in Ibaraki Prefecture, Yokohama broke a tie on a bases-loaded wild pitch by Yataro Sakamoto with two out in the top of the ninth inning and Kazuhiro Sasaki closed out the bottom half for his ninth save as the BayStars downed Yakult.
Carp 2, Giants 1
At Hiroshima Stadium, Tomonori Maeda hit a bases-loaded RBI single off Yomiuri starter Yuya Kubo (2-2) in the fifth inning for the go-ahead run and southpaw John Bale (1-0) held the Giants to one run in eight-plus innings of work for his first win in Japan as the Carp edged Yomiuri.