SAPPORO – Yu Darvish struck out 13 in his fifth complete game of the season as the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters beat the Orix Buffaloes 5-2 on Saturday.
Darvish (9-4) had a shutout until Mitsutaka Goto hit a two-run homer with one out in the ninth inning at Sapporo Dome.
The right-handed ace allowed six hits and walked none in a 122-pitch outing.
“I’m glad I was able to pitch well,” Darvish said. “I’m thankful that my teammates are playing well both offensively and defensively.
“We have some momentum going.”
The Fighters took a 3-0 lead in the second on a two-run single by Shinya Tsuruoka and an RBI single from Makoto Kaneko.
Nippon Ham added one run each in the third and sixth. The Fighters have won 17 of their last 20 games.
“Darvish was in excellent form. Because of that, I thought we could win this ballgame if we scored two or three runs,” catcher Tsuruoka said. “I just regret that Darvish gave up that home run in the ninth because I called for the wrong pitch.”
Against Darvish, Alex Cabrera struck out all four of his at-bats while Goto had three hits. Satoshi Komatsu (4-5) took the loss.
Eagles 7, Lions 1
At Tokorozawa’s Seibu Dome, Randy Ruiz hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning, Hisashi Iwakuma threw seven solid innings and Tohoku Rakuten beat Saitama Seibu.
Ruiz connected off Hideaki Wakui (10-5) to give the Eagles a 4-1 lead. They added three runs in the ninth en route to their fourth straight win.
Hawks 1, Marines 0 (11)
At Fukuoka’s Yahoo Dome, Jose Ortiz delivered a sayonara hit in the 11th as Softbank handed Chiba Lotte its fourth consecutive loss.
With one out and two men on base, Ortiz sent a shot off the left-field wall off Yasuhiko Yabuta (1-3).
Dragons 7, Giants 1
At Nagoya Dome, Naomichi Donoue drove in three runs and Daisuke Yamai struck out 10 over 6 1/3 innings as Chunichi handed Yomiuri its third straight loss.
Donoue capped a four-run second inning with a bases-loaded triple off Shugo Fujii (6-3). Motonobu Tanishige led off the fourth with a homer and added an RBI double in the fifth.
Yamai (3-2) gave up one run on three hits and walked one.
Swallows 5, Carp 2
At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Masanori Ishikawa threw seven effective innings, Norichika Aoki and Kazuhiro Hatakeyama homered and Yakult downed Hiroshima.
Aoki hit a two-run homer off Jumpei Shinoda (3-2) in the fourth inning to push the Swallows’ lead to 4-1. Hatakeyama finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
BayStars 4, Tigers 3