SAPPORO – Tohoku Rakuten ace Masahiro Tanaka tied the Japan pro baseball record with his 15th consecutive win to start a season in a 12-strikeout effort as the Pacific League-leading Eagles rallied to beat the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 4-1 on Friday night.
Kazuya Fujita and Ginji Akaminai each singled in a run in the sixth, overturning a 1-0 deficit at Sapporo Dome.
Tanaka (15-0) had his fourth straight complete game victory. He has won 19 straight decisions dating back to Aug. 26, 2012, one short of the Japan record for consecutive wins.
Buffaloes 5, Marines 3
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Orix right-hander Yuki Nishi (7-4) allowed a run in seven innings to beat Chiba Lotte, and Yoshio Itoi went 2-for-3 with a solo homer and a sacrifice fly.
Nishi held the Marines scoreless for five innings, while Itoi hit his 10th homer of the year in the first inning and Lee Dae-ho hit a solo drive for his 18th in the fourth.
Lions at Hawks — late
Tigers 4, Giants 0
At Tokyo Dome, Jason Standridge threw a three-hit shutout as Hanshin opened a three-game series against Yomiuri.
The Tigers entered the series in second place, trailing by 7 1/2 games after stumbling out of the blocks following the All-Star break. The game marked the start of Hanshin’s annual August exile. With the finals of the National High School Baseball Championship being held at their home park, the Tigers will not return to Koshien Stadium until Aug. 30.
Standridge (6-7), who leads the CL with a 2.21 ERA, walked three and struck out nine in his second shutout of the season.
“I was really focused on the job tonight, I got prepared physically and mentally,” said Standridge. “I want the ball in times that we need to win. Who wouldn’t?
“I left some pitches up tonight, but (catcher Akihito) Fujii did a great job mixing my fastball with my offspeed pitches.”
Matt Murton drove in the Tigers’ first two runs and Takahiro Arai provided the knockout blow with a two-run home run in the ninth.
Giants starter Hirokazu Sawamura (4-7) allowed a run on two hits and a walk over eight innings. The right-hander struck out two and was cruising, but was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the eighth.
Carp 13, Swallows 5
At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Yoshihiro Maru and Kila Ka’aihue each hit two of Hiroshima’s six home runs as the Carp handed last-place Yakult its fifth straight defeat.
Yusuke Nomura (6-4) won despite allowing five runs in five innings.
Kazuhiro Hatakeyama’s two-run double in the first put the Swallows in front, but southpaw starter Kyohei Muranaka (4-7) had a meltdown in the third. An error by Yakult right fielder Wladimir Balentien let in one run, and Ka’aihue put the Carp in front with a two-run homer.
Dragons 4, Swallows 2
At Yokohama Stadium, Matt Clark hit his 15th home run, a solo shot, and doubled in another run as Chunichi won its third straight while handing Yokohama its third loss in a row.
Yudai Ono (6-7) allowed two runs in seven innings to earn the win for the Dragons. Hitoki Iwase worked the ninth to earn his 24th save for Chunichi, which moved into third.
Hitoshi Tamura drove in both of the BayStars’ runs with a sixth-inning double.