SENDAI – Yudai Kawai three-hit the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles over eight shutout innings as the Chunichi Dragons won 3-0 in interleague action Thursday.
Kawai (2-1) allowed the Eagles just a single and a pair of infield hits during a 111-pitch outing before handing the baton to closer Hitoski Iwase, who pitched a perfect ninth to collect his 17th save.
Tony Blanco hit a two-run home run in the second off Rakuten starter Kelvin Jimenez (2-5), who had a decent night of his own but lacked run support.
Jimenez gave up two earned runs on six hits in seven innings, yet still drew the scorn of his manager Senichi Hoshino.
“He threw it to his favorite part in the zone,” Hoshino said. “It makes you wonder why we’re even holding team meetings.”
Chunichi won for the third time in four games — its 13th shutout victory of the season — to stop Rakuten’s winning streak at three before a crowd of 10,707 at Kleenex Stadium.
Lotte 6, Yakult 1
At QVC Marine Field, heralded Chiba Lotte rookie Takahiro Fujioka (4-1) held Tokyo Yakult to one earned run in six-plus innings to pick up his fourth win.
Fujioka struck out five and Tadahito Iguchi hit a two-run shot, his fourth homer of the year, as the Marines sent the Swallows to their fifth straight defeat.