NAGOYA – Matt Murton topped the 200-hit mark, Atsushi Nomi threw seven innings of one-run ball and the Hanshin Tigers defeated the Chunichi Dragons 6-1 on Thursday, ending their Central League rival’s home winning streak at 11 games.
Murton became only the fourth player in Nippon Professional Baseball history and first since Alex Ramirez in 2007 to have a 200-hit season when he had a solo homer in the seventh off Kazuki Yoshimi (12-9), the second of his three hits in the game.
The former Colorado Rockies outfielder went 3-for-5 to raise his season hit total to 201 and help the Tigers avoid being swept in the three-game series.
“I’m so thankful, humbled by the whole thing. I have such great respect for this league,” Murton said in a post-game interview at Nagoya Dome.
Nomi (5-0) struck out nine and allowed five hits.
Hanshin took over second place from Yomiuri in the CL standings.
Swallows 3, Carp 0
At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Shohei Tateyama outpitched Kenta Maeda with his third shutout of the season, leading Tokyo Yakult over Hiroshima.
Tateyama (11-6) scattered six hits, walked one and struck out five. Josh Whitesell opened the scoring with a solo homer in the fourth. Maeda (14-7) gave up three runs, two earned, in eight innings.
Hawks 9, Marines 3
At Fukuoka’s Yahoo Dome, the Softbank Hawks took advantage of a shaky Bryan Corey to score eight runs in the first inning and went on to beat Chiba Lotte.
Nobuhiro Matsuda, Munenori Kawasaki and Yuichi Honda each drove in two runs in the first in the Hawks’ final regular-season home game.
Tsuyoshi Wada (17-8) tied the Orix Buffaloes’ Chihiro Kaneko for the league lead in wins after striking out 10 and allowing three runs in seven innings.
Eagles 4, Lions 3
At Seibu Dome, Tohoku Rakuten chased Seibu ace Hideaki Wakui after just three innings en route to dropping the Lions to second place.
The Eagles went ahead 2-0 in the second on back-to-back homers by Takeshi Yamasaki and Randy Ruiz.
Rakuten added two runs in the third for a 4-1 lead against Wakui (14-8).
Yasunori Kikuchi (1-0) won his pro debut, allowing two runs on two hits in five innings. Tsuyoshi Kawagishi struck out Takeya Nakamura with the bases loaded for the final out and his 13th save.