CHIBA – Yoshihisa Naruse pitched his first shutout of the season for his first win, four-hitting the Seibu Lions to lead the Japan Series champion Chiba Lotte Marines to a 2-0 victory Tuesday.
Naruse, who struck out six, needed 137 pitches to tame the Lions in beating their ace Hideaki Wakui for his second career shutout against Seibu, which dropped its fifth in a row at QVC Marine Field dating back to last July.
The Lions never reached third base against Naruse, who led the team with 13 wins last season.
“I had a good time out on the mound today. I just regret the one walk I had,” Naruse said.
Wakui allowed both runs on 10 hits in seven innings of work as he suffered his first defeat.
“I got beat, hands down,” said Wakui, who shares the same alma mater as Naruse at Yokohama High School. “Compared to my last time out, I made a lot of mistakes today.”
Complementing Naruse’s gem was Takashi Ogino, who went 3-for-4 with an RBI in the seventh inning to hit safely in his seventh straight game. He also scored the Marines’ first run in the sixth, coming home on Tadahito Iguchi’s RBI single to right.
Eagles 2, Hawks 1
At Yahoo Dome, former major leaguer Kazuo Matsui drove in the game-winning run with a double in the top of the 10th as Tohoku Rakuten edged Fukuoka Softbank.
Eagles starter Hisashi Iwakuma moved to 2-0 after striking out 10 in nine innings. He allowed one earned run on just five hits.
Fighters 8, Buffaloes 2
At Kobe’s Hotto Motto Field, Yu Darvish rebounded from the worst start of his career to pitch eight strong innings in Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s win against Orix.
Darvish, who allowed seven earned runs in seven-plus innings in his season debut against the Lions on April 12, struck out eight and gave up one earned run on four hits.
Darvish was backed by Yoshio Itoi’s two-hit, three-RBI effort that included a two-run home run off Buffaloes starter Hiroshi Kisanuki in the third.
Tigers 3, Giants 2 (10)
At Koshien Stadium, Hanshin pinch hitter Takahiro Arai had the first “sayonara” hit of his career as the Tigers edged Yomiuri.
Hanshin’s Atsushi Nomi racked up 10 strikeouts in seven innings, giving up one earned run on four hits. The Giants have not won since beating the Swallows in their first two games of the season.
Carp 5, BayStars 3
At Yokohama Stadium, Sawamura Award winner Kenta Maeda picked up his first win, holding Yokohama to three earned runs over seven innings.
Maeda, who led the league in wins, ERA and strikeouts last season, fanned five but allowed a pair of home runs, a solo shot in the third inning to Shingo Takeyama and a two-run homer to Yuki Yoshimura in the fifth.