CHIBA – Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched a four-hitter and struck out 16 in his first start since returning from the Athens Olympics as the Seibu Lions blanked the Chiba Lotte Marines 2-0 on Wednesday.
Matsuzaka struck out at least one batter in every inning and issued three walks in a 149-pitch outing at Chiba Marine Stadium en route to his fifth shutout of the season.
Masahide Kaizuka put Seibu ahead with a solo homer in the fifth and Kazuhiro Wada made it 2-0 with an RBI single in the sixth. Satoru Komiyama (3-4) took the loss.
Buffaloes 4, BlueWave 3
In Kobe, Hisashi Iwakuma (14-1) survived a late-inning scare to earn his 14th win with his seventh complete game this season, lifting Kintetsu past Orix.
Shinji Shimoyama homered off Takashi Aiki (3-2) in the seventh and Hirotoshi Kitagawa added a two-run shot in the eighth to put Kintetsu ahead 4-1 before Orix pulled within one run in the ninth.
Iwakuma gave up eight of the Buffaloes’ 11 hits in the final three innings but held on for the win. He struck out two and walked one.
Hawks 6, Fighters 5
At Fukuoka Dome, Tadahito Iguchi went 4-for-5 and drove home three runs to help Daiei edge Nippon Ham and maintain a two-game lead in the PL standings.
Iguchi hit RBI doubles in the first and second innings as the Hawks took a 5-2 lead and held off the Fighters, who came within one run twice on homers by Fernando Seguignol and Tsuyoshi Shinjo.
Giants 4, BayStars 3
Osaka Dome, Tuffy Rhodes hit a game-tying homer and pinch-hitter Akira Eto drove home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning as Yomiuri edged Yokohama.
Rhodes connected off Ken Kadokura (3-7) for a leadoff home run, his league-leading 42nd homer, before Eto’s bases-loaded, two-out hit to deep left gave the Giants a “sayonara” victory at Osaka Dome.
Brian Sikorski (5-3) earned the win in relief of Koji Uehara, who gave up three solo homers in eight innings.
Dragons 4, Tigers 1
At Nagoya Dome, veteran southpaw Masahiro Yamamoto led league leader Chunichi both on the mound and at the plate in a victory over Hanshin.
Yamamoto (11-4) held Hanshin to one run on four hits in 6 1/3 innings. He hit a two-run single in a four-run fourth, which also featured RBI hits by Hidenori Kuramoto and Masahiro Araki off Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi (7-5).
Swallows 11, Carp 10 (11)
At Jingu Stadium, Atsuya Furuta hit an RBI single down the third-base line in the bottom of the 11th inning as Yakult rallied past Hiroshima, which squandered the lead four times in a slugfest featuring 36 hits, eight homers and 15 pitchers.
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