FUKUOKA – Satoshi Nagai pitched one-run ball over eight innings and the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles got longballs from Takeshi Yamasaki, Norihiro Nakamura and Randy Ruiz on the way to an 8-2 rout of the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks on Thursday.
Nagai (6-7) allowed five hits, struck out four and walked two at Yahoo Dome, helping to snap a five-game skid for the Eagles while ending the Hawks’ winning streak at nine games.
“We had been losing since coming back from the All-Star break, so it’s great to get a win,” Nagai said. “Beating the Hawks is a confidence boost for us. The fielders really helped me out, so I could pitch comfortably. My fastball was really working today.”
Yamasaki opened the scoring with a two-run homer off Kenji Otonari (2-8) in the first inning before Teppei Tsuchiya added a run-scoring single in the third. Nakamura had a three-run shot and Ruiz tacked on a solo drive the same inning for a 7-0 lead.
Nobuhiro Matsuda went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs for Softbank.
Lions 12, Mariners 6
At Tokorozawa’s Seibu Dome, the Lions batted around in a six-run fourth inning, featuring Jose Fernandez’s three-run homer, overturning a five-run deficit on the way to beating Chiba Lotte to snap a six-game losing streak.
Hiroshi Hirao and Takumi Kuriyama drew consecutive bases-loaded walks to cap the big inning for a 6-5 lead. Tatsuyuki Uemoto went 3-for-4 with three RBIs for the Lions, who moved into second place in the Pacific League.
Fighters at Buffaloes — ppd.
Swallows 9, Carp 3
At Jingu Stadium, Yoshinori Sato threw his first career complete game, Hiroyasu Tanaka had three hits and Josh Whitesell drove in two runs as Tokyo Yakult completed a three-game sweep of Hiroshima.
Sato (6-6) allowed a two-run homer to Shigenobu Shima in the first inning but settled down to hold the Carp scoreless until Jun Hirose homered with one out in the eighth. He gave up nine hits and struck out seven.
The Swallows went up 7-2 with a five-run sixth inning that featured Whitesell’s two-run single off John Bale (0-3). Yasushi Iihara homered and also finished with two RBIs.
Dragons 3, Giants 2
At Tokyo Dome, Kazuhiro Wada homered for the second straight day and Maximo Nelson picked up his first win of the season as Chunichi beat Yomiuri for its eighth win in nine games.
Naomichi Donoue’s RBI single made it 1-0 in the second inning and Wada added a two-run homer in the sixth. Nelson (1-0) limited the damage to two runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Hitoki Iwase threw a perfect ninth for his Japanese baseball-leading 28th save. Shun Tono (11-3) took the loss.
BayStars at Tigers — ppd.