• Kyodo

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Nate Minchey pitched a two-hitter for his first complete game this season as the Chiba Lotte Marines shut out the Orix BlueWave 3-0 in the Pacific League on Monday after losing four straight in double-digits.

Minchey (5-3) retired the side in order in all but two innings in his 99-pitch outing, walking just one and recording his 1,000th career inning along the way at Chiba Marine Stadium in the shortest game in either leagues this season at 2 hours, 4 minutes.

“I was able to limit my mistakes tonight and we played good defense, so I got lucky. My back was tight and I wasn’t feeling well, but I tried to keep it low and focus on keeping the lead,” said Minchey, formerly of the Hiroshima Carp.

Masaumi Shimizu, Kazuya Fukuura and Rick Short hit solo home runs off Hisashi Ogura (2-4) in the third and fourth innings to put an end to a four-game nightmare in which Lotte allowed a total of 52 runs.

The game was briefly halted after a strong earthquake hit northeastern Japan at 6:24 p.m. in the bottom of the first inning, stadium sources said.

Umpire Akira Shinya briefly called a halt to the game as a precaution, after the quake with a magnitude of 7.0 hit the Tohoku region. Most players did not appear to notice the earthquake which also shook Tokyo and its vicinity.

Fighters 10, Lions 1

At Seibu Dome, Angel Echevarria hit a pair of two-run homers and Michihiro Ogasawara hit his third homer in as many days to lead a 13-hit outburst as Nippon Ham cruised past Seibu and matched a Japan record with their fourth straight double-digit victory.

Hiroyuki Sekine (1-0) held the opponents to a sole run on two hits in five innings in his first start this season.

Hawks 7, Buffaloes 5

At Osaka Dome, Arihito Muramatsu hit a three-run homer off Kevin Beirne (2-5) in the top of the ninth inning to turn the game around in favor of Daiei, which came from behind to beat Kintetsu and claim sole possession of the league lead.

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