HIROSHIMA – Chunichi closer Hitoki Iwase became the first pitcher in Japanese baseball to reach 300 career saves and Tony Blanco hit a three-run go-ahead homer in the Dragons’ 5-2 win over the Hiroshima Carp on Saturday.
All-time saves leader Iwase retired three in the ninth for his 24th save of the season after Blanco’s blast over the left-field wall turned a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning at Mazda Stadium.
“I failed to get the save in my last outing (against the Hanshin Tigers on Thursday), so I am glad I could achieve it today,” said Iwase, who became baseball’s all-time leader in an interleague game against the Softbank Hawks when he recorded his 287th save on June 16.
“Since (Hiromitsu) Ochiai-san became the manager, I have been entrusted with the closer’s role and have been able to post this many saves because of him. I feel relieved. I think this achievement will gradually sink in.”
Yohei Oshima added a sacrifice fly and Blanco tacked on a run-scoring single in the sixth.
Kazuki Yoshimi (12-3) held the damage to one run and three hits over five innings. Giancarlo Alvarado (2-5) took the loss.
Shigenobu Shima and Takuro Ishii homered for the Carp.
Iwase registered at least 40 saves five times in seven years from 2004-2010. Kazuhiro Sasaki combined for 381 career saves, 129 with the Seattle Mariners, in Japan and the major leagues.
Swallows 10, Giants 7
BayStars at Tigers — ppd.
Buffaloes 3, Fighters 2
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Hayato Terahara pitched two-run ball over the distance, Takahiro Okada had an RBI double to help rally his team in a three-run third inning and Orix edged Hokkaido Nippon Ham to win its sixth in a row.
Terahara (11-7) scattered eight hits, struck out five and walked none to pick up his first win since July 29. Fighters rookie Yuki Saito (5-3) allowed three unearned runs in 6⅓ innings of the loss.
Hawks 10, Lions 7
At Seibu Dome, Hiroki Kokubo homered and drove in four runs as PL leader Softbank rallied in a six-run fifth inning en route to a win over Seibu to snap a four-game losing skid and move four games ahead of second-place Nippon Ham.
Eagles 10, Marines 1
At QVC Marine Field, Masahiro Tanaka pitched in and out of trouble over seven shutout innings and struck out eight as Tohoku Rakuten sent Chiba Lotte to its fourth loss in a row.
Tanaka (14-4) allowed runners in scoring position five times, but escaped unscathed and walked none in a 90-pitch outing.
Takeshi Yamasaki opened the scoring with a two-run double in a three-run first inning and the Eagles offense rapped out 15 hits.