SENDAI – Marquee Tohoku Rakuten rookie Yuki Matsui got a rude welcome in his first official game Wednesday, allowing three runs in six innings as the Eagles took a 7-1 thumping against the Orix Buffaloes.
Matsui (0-1), who turned pro out of high school after being taken by the Eagles in the first round of last autumn’s draft, was very impressive in the preseason, but allowed five hits and four walks, while hitting a batter and striking out six before 21,861 on a weekday afternoon at Kobo Stadium Miyagi.
“It’s frustrating,” said Matsui, who in 2012 set a summer high school championship record with 22 strikeouts in a game. “I got too nervous, and ended up without any kind of tempo.”
Mamoru Kishida (1-0) threw six shutout innings to pick up the win for the Buffaloes, and Wily Mo Pena, who moved to Orix from the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks over the winter, had three hits, including a pair of home runs and drove in four.
Pena broke the ice when he plated Esteban German with a first-inning RBI single. German singled to open the inning, stole second and then third before scoring the ice-breaker.
“I was completely absorbed with the batter,” Matsui said of German’s progress around the bases.
Matsui pitched out of jams in the second and fifth, but trouble found him in the sixth.
“I made some good pitches, but I want to able to throw those consistently,” the youngster said.
Eagles skipper Senichi Hoshino said Matsui should learn from his mistakes.
“I want him to make use of this experience and develop in leaps and bounds,” said the former pitcher.
Veteran major leaguer Yuniesky Betancourt opened his account in Japan with a one-out single and scored on a triple by Ryoichi Adachi. A suicide squeeze by Hikaru Ito scored Adachi. Pena homered in his last two at-bats, and now has four on the season.
Kishida, the club’s former closer, hadn’t started a game since March 30, 2010.
“I wanted to throw more innings, but perhaps I haven’t earned that trust yet,” he said after the game. “I was supposed be used as a starter last season, as well, but I got hurt and it didn’t happen. But at last I’m able to pitch.”
Lions 3, Marines 1
At QVC Marine Field, Ken Togame pitched a scoreless ninth inning despite loading the bases with no outs to earn his first career save as Seibu defeated winless Chiba Lotte.
Ryoma Nogami (1-0) allowed a run on four hits and a walk over eight innings to outpitch last year’s surprise lefty Takuya Furuya (0-1), who gave up three runs over seven innings in the loss.
Fighters 3, Hawks 1
At Yafuoku Dome, Hokkaido Nippon Ham starter Naoyuki Uwasawa allowed a run in six innings to beat Fukuoka Softbank in his pro debut behind homers from Sho Nakata and Yang Dai-kang. The 20 year-old Uwasawa, in his third year out of high school, allowed three hits, while striking out seven.
Tigers 15, Dragons 0
At Kyocera Dome, rookie Suguru Iwazaki (1-0) allowed three hits in five innings for his first pro victory as Hanshin hammered Chunichi, getting 16 hits without a home run.
Giants 15, BayStars 9
At Yokohama Stadium, Yomiuri banged out 21 hits in a come-from-behind win over Yokohama that was sparked when lefty and former Giant Hisanori Takahashi surrendered three straight fifth-inning home runs to Leslie Anderson, Shuichi Murata and Jose Lopez.
Carp 4, Swallows 3 (12)
At Mazda Stadium, Shota Dobayashi’s 12th-inning home run off Tony Barnette (0-1), lifted Hiroshima to a sayonara victory in 4 hours, 38 minutes over Tokyo Yakult.