SENDAI – Hisashi Iwakuma outpitched Yu Darvish with a two-hit shutout as the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles beat the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 3-0 on Saturday.
Iwakuma (3-2) did not allow a runner to reach third base and retired 15 straight batters in one stretch at Kleenex Stadium. He struck out six and walked one en route to winning his third straight start.
“Darvish was on the mound for them. I knew it would be a pitching duel,” Iwakuma said. “I tried not to allow them to score first. I gave it my all and had one of my best outings.”
Teppei Tsuchiya scored the opening run in the second inning when Darvish (3-2) made an errant throw home on a one-out slow roller off the bat of Norihiro Nakamura.
Daisuke Kusano plated Tsuchiya from second base with a two-out single up the middle in the sixth. Nakamura, who was on first base, also scored on center fielder Yoshio Itoi’s throwing error to third base.
“Teppei and Nori-san set the stage for me and our ace was pitching so I wanted to come through in that situation,” Kusano said.
Darvish allowed three runs, one earned, and five hits in a complete-game effort for the Fighters, who became the first team in Japanese baseball to lose 20 games this season.
Hawks 4, Marines 3
At Chiba Marine Stadum, Shinsuke Ogura threw five effective innings and Yuichi Honda hit a tiebreaking bases-loaded triple in the fifth inning as Fukuoka Softbank rallied to beat Chiba Lotte.
Hitoshi Tamura hit a tying homer leading off the fifth and two outs later Honda tripled to left-center with the bases loaded off Yoshihisa Naruse (4-2).
Ogura (1-0) allowed one unearned run and two hits, while walking seven in his first start in eight seasons. Takahiro Mahara pitched a scoreless ninth for his eighth save.
Lions 6, Buffaloes 4
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Hideto Asamura and Tatsuyuki Uemoto each drove in two runs as Saitama Seibu downed Orix.
Asamura drew a bases-loaded walk to break a 1-1 tie in the fourth inning before Uemoto followed with a two-run single off Hiroshi Kisanuki (2-3). Asamura added an RBI triple in the sixth.
Hsu Ming-chieh (2-2) allowed four runs and seven hits in five-plus innings. Brian Sikorski picked up his ninth save.
Tigers 3, Dragons 1
At Koshien Stadium, Takahiro Arai hit a tiebreaking single in the sixth inning and Atsushi Nomi threw one-run ball in six innings as Hanshin downed Chunichi.
Arai gave Hanshin a 2-1 lead with his hit to center off Edward Valdez (1-2) and added a run-scoring double two innings later. Yamato Maeda stole bases and scored in both frames.
Nomi (3-0) allowed seven hits, struck out seven and walked a batter. Kyuji Fujikawa retired the last four batters for his sixth save. Kodai Sakurai homered in the second before a Kazuhiro Wada sacrifice fly tied it 1-1 in the fourth.
BayStars 3, Swallows 2
At Yokohama Stadium, Daisuke Miura limited the damage to two runs in six effective innings as Yokohama snapped a four-game losing skid in a win over Tokyo Yakult.
Miura (2-0) scattered seven hits, all singles, struck out five and walked none. Shun Yamaguchi got out of a one-out, two-on jam by inducing Shinya Miyamoto to hit into a game-ending double play.
Seiichi Uchikawa and Shuichi Murata hit back-to-back RBI singles off Yoshinori Sato (1-3) as the BayStars overturned a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead in the third.
Aaron Guiel’s sixth-inning RBI single pulled the visitors within one run, but the Swallows came up short.