OSAKA – After being held hitless for three innings, Mitsutaka Goto triggered a four-run outburst with a two-run homer as the Orix Buffaloes knocked out the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 6-3 on Tuesday at Kyocera Dome.
The Buffaloes got five shutout innings from lefty Evan MacLane (4-4), a two-run double in the fourth from Takahiro Okada and a two-run homer in the seventh from former Fighter Bobby Scales.
Fighters southpaw Masaru Takeda (4-5) allowed just one walk through three innings and opened the fourth with his fifth strikeout of the evening. Keiji Obiki singled and Goto hit a long homer, his third of the year, off Takeda.
“It really carried,” Goto said. “I had a really good swing so I thought it was gone, but I was a bit taken back by the distance.”
“We have a lot of good hitters in our lineup, so I’m never surprised when we score a bunch,” he said.
First-year import Lee Dae Ho singled and Aarom Baldiris doubled to bring Okada to the plate. The big left-handed hitter then doubled in both runners.
In the seventh, a one-out error and a sacrifice gave Scales a chance to plate a run with a single, but he reached the seats.
“I went up looking for a single and I got a homer,” said Scales, who played the second half of the 2011 season with the Fighters. “I was just trying to get a pitch I could hit hard. I had a good count.”
“I had no hard feelings with those guys. I enjoyed my time there, but I’m with the Buffaloes now. I’m going forward,” he said.
MacLane, who had allowed four runs in each of his previous starts, repeatedly pitched himself out of trouble, allowing five hits and three walks, while striking out one. Mamoru Kishida worked a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his 13th save.
Takeda gave up four runs in six innings. He allowed six hits and a walk, while striking out six.
Nippon Ham halved Orix’s lead after two outs in the eighth. Yang Dai-kang singled and scored on an RBI double by Haruki Nishikawa. Micah Hoffpauir completed the scoring with a two-run homer, his fifth of the season.
Eagles at Marines — ppd.
Carp 4, Tigers 3
At Ehime Prefecture’s Matsuyama Stadium, Hanshin lefty Daiki Enokida blew a two-run lead after retiring the first two batters in the ninth as the Tigers lost a shocker to Hiroshima.
Rookie Ryusuke Kikuchi plated the inning’s first run with his first career hit and stole second. Two pitches later, Eishin Soyogi swung and missed at a ball out of the zone that bounded away from catcher Shinjiro Koyama and scored the runners from second and third.
Dragons at Swallows — ppd.
Giants at BayStars — ppd.