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Karakawa shutout blunts Lions’ claws

Kyodo

Yuki Karakawa became the second Chiba Lotte pitcher in as many days to throw a shutout, leading the Marines to a 3-0 win over the Seibu Lions on Wednesday.

Karakawa (1-1) struck out eight and scattered six hits in a 117-pitch outing at QVC Marine Field. Seibu lost its third straight game.

Saburo Omura hit a two-run double in the first inning among his three hits off Kazuyuki Hoashi (1-1). Takashi Ogino added a sacrifice fly in the fifth.

“It feels good to be on the pitcher’s mound at the end of a game,” Karakawa said. “(After Lotte took a 2-0 lead) I said to myself: I’ll be good as long as I don’t allow them to take the lead, so up to two runs are fine.

“That mind-set helped me swing my arm hard throughout the game.”

The Lions had runners on second and third with one out in the fifth, but Karakawa got Shogo Akiyama to ground out and Yasuyuki Kataoka to fly out to end the inning.

“I got a lot of strikes with my slider,” the 21-year-old right-hander said. “I was able to throw that pitch low in the zone in key situations.”

Lotte ace Yoshihisa Naruse pitched a shutout Tuesday, also against Seibu.

Hawks 10, Eagles 3

At Kitakyushu Stadium, Seiichi Uchikawa hit his first home run with Softbank, D.J. Houlton (1-1) pitched seven innings of two-run ball and the Hawks trounced the Golden Eagles.

Fighters 9, Buffaloes 5

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Swallows 1, Dragons 0

At Jingu Stadium, Tokyo Yakult pinch-runner Kazuki Fukuchi scored the game’s only run in the bottom of the ninth inning on a throwing error by Chunichi reliever Junichi Kawahara as the Swallows edged the Dragons.

Kawahara (0-1) threw to an empty third base when Masayoshi Miwa tried to move Fukuchi to third with a sacrifice bunt. Chunichi shortstop Masahiro Araki was late to cover the bag.

Yoshinori Sato (1-1) pitched a three-hit shutout while walking five and striking out five.

Carp 2, BayStars 0

At Yokohama Stadium, the Carp extended their unbeaten streak to five games as Jumpei Shinoda (1-1) threw a two-hitter against the BayStars for his first shutout since April 12, 2009.

Giants 5, Tigers 4

At Koshien Stadium, Hisayoshi Chono capped his 4-for-4 night with a go-ahead two-run double in the eighth inning as the Giants beat the Tigers.