Softbank’s Standridge has happy homecoming in win over Tigers

Kyodo

Former Hanshin pitcher Jason Standridge returned to Koshien Stadium and threw a three-hitter as the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks beat the Tigers 6-0 in interleague play.

Standridge (6-2) held his former teammates hitless through 4⅓ innings. He walked three and struck out six en route to outdueling Randy Messenger (4-6).

Messenger allowed five runs on seven hits and three walks over five innings.

“It’s been a while since I was at Koshien,” said Standridge, who is in his seventh season in Japan after the game in Japanese. “I actually felt at home. I felt pretty good. We got some runs early off a good pitcher. Randy’s a good pitcher. We got some runs early and it was great, and they played great defense behind me.

“I was looking forward to it (facing my old teammates). It’s fun to throw against friends. It’s all about pride and who’s going to be the better guy that day and so I just feel very blessed to have played with those guys. And now I have new teammates and they did well for me today.”

Lee Dae-ho singled in a run in the first and Yuya Hasegawa followed with a sacrifice fly. Nobuhiro Matsuda doubled in two runs in the fifth. And Yuki Yanagita homered, singled, had a sacrifice fly and two walks as he drove in two and scored three.

The Japan tradition of non-stop cheering for each team’s offense caught Standridge off guard, since he wasn’t used to being on the mound with the raucous Tigers fans going full volume for their hitters.

“That was interesting. They (the Tigers fans) were cheering while I was pitching, so that was a little bit different. I’m glad to be back. I love this place and they have great fans,” he said.

“It was fun to be back at Koshien. I love these fans and I loved my time here, but time has passed. I’m also excited about being where I’m at.”

Standridge, who began his Japan career with the Hawks, became the second foreign pitcher to earn a victory against all 12 teams in Nippon Professional Baseball. Seth Greisinger, who played in the Central League with Yakult and Yomiuri, accomplished the feat with Lotte in 2012.

Giants 5, Marines 3

At Tokyo Dome, Shuichi Murata each singled in a run in the third inning and Murata added another RBI single in the sixth as Yomiuri beat Chiba Lotte rookie Ayumu Ishikawa (4-4). The Marines’ top draft pick allowed four runs, two earned, in four innings.

Orix 2, Hiroshima 0

At Kure Stadium, Wily Mo Pena doubled in the game’s only runs in the sixth inning and four pitchers combined on a three-hitter as Orix won its fourth straight to move a season-high 16 games over .500. Hiroshima suffered its sixth straight loss.

Fighters 5, Dragons 2

At Nagoya Dome, Shota Ono broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth inning and Luis Mendoza (3-6) allowed two runs in seven innings as Hokkaido Nippon Ham beat Chunichi to run its winning streak to four games and move a season-high four games over .500.

Lions 5, Swallows 2

At Jingu Stadium, Ken Togame (3-4) allowed two runs in six innings, and Hideki Kuriyama drove in three runs as Seibu defeated Tokyo Yakult.

Eagles 10, BayStars 0

At Koriyama Stadium, Takahiro Norimoto (7-3) threw a five-hitter for his fourth shutout of the season. The right-hander struck out 10 without issuing a walk. John Bowker had an RBI triple and a two-run homer to power Tohoku Rakuten over the BayStars.