CHIBA – Pacific League batting leader Seiichi Uchikawa homered twice and Kenichi Nakata pitched one-run ball over eight solid innings as the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks defeated the Chiba Lotte Marines 6-1 on Saturday afternoon.
Uchikawa had a two-run blast to left off Yuki Karakawa (0-3) in the fourth and took the right-hander on another ride, a solo shot over the center-field wall in the following at-bat in the sixth in the chill at QVC Marine Field.
“Since I can’t play defense I wanted to do something as a hitter,” said two-time batting champion Uchikawa, who has been bothered by pain in his right buttocks since Tuesday. He is batting .449 in 18 games this season.
Nobuhiro Matsuda added a solo home run with one out in the eighth, which also featured Yuichi Honda’s RBI single.
Former Chunichi Dragon Nakata (4-0) yielded three hits, struck out five and walked three en route to his fourth consecutive win since the start of the season.
Lions 6, Buffaloes 3
At Seibu Dome, lefty Yusei Kikuchi (1-3) allowed three runs — two earned — over eight innings and received enough run support for his first win since last July.
Former Giant Ryota Wakiya had a tiebreaking two-run double off Brandon Dickson (2-2) to give Seibu the lead in the fifth.
Eagles 9, Fighters 5
At Sendai’s Kobo Stadium, Kazuya Fujita had a tiebreaking RBI double in a five-run uprising against Masaru Takeda (0-2) in the third, and Tohoku Rakuten chipped away to beat Hokkaido Nippon Ham for the second day in a row.
Reliever Koji Aoyama (1-0) went two scoreless innings to pick up the win. The Fighters lost their third straight.
Carp 7, BayStars 1
At Yokohama Stadium, rookie No. 2 draft pick Aren Kuri (2-0) limited the damage to one run over six innings, leading Hiroshima to its fourth straight win to move the CL leader eight games over .500 for the first time in 16 years.
Kila Ka’aihue broke a 1-1 tie with an RBI single in the fourth and Shota Dobayashi hit a grand slam in the seventh.
Yokohama lost its sixth in a row and its sixth consecutive series.
Tigers 7, Swallows 5
At Koshien Stadium, Hanshin overcame a five-run deficit, featuring Mauro Gomez’s game-tying two-run homer in the fifth inning, to beat Masanori Ishikawa (0-2) and Tokyo Yakult, which slipped to its fourth loss in a row.
Dragons 7, Giants 2 (11)
At Tokyo Dome, Kazuhiro Wada had a game-tying two-run homer off Yomiuri starter Tetsuya Utsumi in the seventh inning and pinch hitter Kei Nomoto hit a two-run double as Chunichi put the game out of reach in a five-run 11th to beat the Giants, who slipped into third place.
Reliever Shinji Tajima (2-1) pitched a scoreless 10th for the win. Yomiuri closer Kentaro Nishimura (1-1) was charged with three runs in one-third of an inning of the loss.