FUKUOKA – Chihiro Kaneko (10-7) lost his bid for a no-hitter in the eighth inning, but held on to throw a one-hitter on Wednesday as the Orix Buffaloes defeated the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks 2-0.
Yoshio Itoi opened the scoring with a third-inning RBI single, and Lee Dae-ho’s 19th homer made it 2-0 in the fourth off Shota Takeda (3-3). The 20-year-old allowed two runs on seven hits and a walk over seven innings. Takeda struck out four.
“I wasn’t thinking about reaching 10 wins,” Kaneko said. “The team had lost consecutive games and we needed a win. So, it’s a good thing I could pitch well.”
“The guys made it easy for me by scoring early. Had I gotten through the eighth inning, I might have given some thought to throwing one (a no-hitter), but I didn’t really have that much margin for error.”
Kaneko didn’t allow a base runner until he issued a one-out walk in the fifth. The Hawks nearly got a bloop single in the seventh, but left fielder Masato Fukae made a sliding catch for the first out on a ball that appeared it might cause him to collide with a teammate.
Yuki Yanagita broke up the no-hit bid with two outs in the eighth, when he slashed a double.
Fighters 5, Eagles 3
At Sendai’s Kleenex Stadium, Daikan Yoh and Michel Abreu each singled in a run in a three-run first inning as Hokkaido Nippon Ham handed league-leading Tohoku Rakuten its fourth straight loss.
Lefty Masaru Takeda (7-5) allowed a run in seven innings to earn the win, while right-handed closer Hisashi Takeda got the Fighters out of a ninth-inning jam to notch his 20th save.
Lions 6, Marines 1
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Ken Togame (7-8) threw a four-hitter to win for the first time since June as Seibu defeated Lotte.
Lions leadoff man Esteban German had two hits and two RBIs off submarine right-hander Shunsuke Watanabe (0-4), who allowed four runs in 1⅓ innings — his briefest start this season.
Swallows 6, Giants 3
At Jingu Stadium, Wladimir Balentien hit his 43rd and 44th home runs of the year to power Tokyo Yakult past league-leading Yomiuri as the Swallows snapped a five-game losing streak. Balentien’s second homer tied the team’s single-season record.
Swallows lefty Ryosuke Yagi (5-8) allowed three runs in five innings but earned the victory, while rookie All-Star Taichi Ishiyama picked up his first save.
Tigers 9, BayStars 3
At Yokohama Stadium, Matt Murton broke a 3-3 tie by leading off the eighth inning with his 10th home run and hit a two-run shot in the ninth as Hanshin defeated Yokohama.
The BayStars overturned a three-run deficit in the sixth inning, but Kosuke Kato (1-1), Ryoma Matsuda and Blaine Boyer retired the last nine batters in order.
Carp 6, Dragons 3
At Nagoya Dome, Kila Ka’aihue and Eishin Soyogi went deep in consecutive at-bats in a three-run first inning in Hiroshima’s second straight win over Chunichi, and Shogo Kimura broke a seventh-inning tie with a safety squeeze.
Carp starter Kan Otake (7-7) allowed three runs in six innings to earn the win, and Kam Mickolio recorded his 19th save.