CHIBA – Right-hander Yuki Karakawa allowed a run in six innings to pitch the Pacific League-leading Chiba Lotte Marines to a 3-1 interleague victory over the Yokohama BayStars on Friday.
Karakawa (4-4) gave up six hits and issued two walks, both to Japan home run leader Tony Blanco, while striking out four as Lotte snapped a four-game losing streak to move 1½ games ahead of the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks in the PL standings.
The Marines overturned a one-run deficit in the third inning on RBI singles by Takashi Ogino and Toshiaki Imae, who went 4-for-4. Daichi Suzuki’s sacrifice fly in the fifth provided some valuable insurance.
Karakawa pitched out of a two-on, no-out jam in the top of the sixth, and the Marines bullpen took control of the game. Takahiro Fujioka, Carlos Rosa and Naoya Masuda faced just three batters apiece to put the game to bed. Masuda earned his 20th save, the highest total in either league.
The BayStars took the lead in the first inning on a Norihiro Nakamura RBI single, but starting pitcher Kentaro Takasaki (2-4) allowed three runs in five innings to take the loss.