FUKUOKA – Daisuke Matsuzaka denied the Daiei Hawks a fourth straight victory in the Pacific League by pitching seven strong innings in the Seibu Lions’ 6-2 triumph on Friday.
Matsuzaka (10-6) struck out 12 and walked none in a heated duel against Kazumi Saito at Fukuoka Dome, limiting the damage to solo homers by Julio Zuleta and Tadahito Iguchi.
The sixth-year right-hander saw his fifth double-digit season after leading the league with 16, 14 and 15 wins in the first three years of his career.
Hiroyuki Nakajima connected for a two-run homer off Saito (10-7) in a three-run second for his second multi-run homer in as many games and Alex Cabrera chipped in two runs on a solo homer and an RBI double.
Daiei’s home attendance surpassed 3 million for the fourth straight year.
Buffaloes 4, Fighters 1
At Sapporo Dome, Jeremy Powell (7-8) struck out seven and threw a five-hitter for his second complete game this season as Kintetsu defeated Nippon Ham, which dropped from third to fourth in the PL standings.
Norihiro Nakamura hit a two-run homer off Satoru Kanemura (12-8) in the first inning and Kintetsu extended the lead on solo homers by Koichi Isobe and Hirotoshi Kitagawa. Nippon Ham’s only run was driven in on a Kuniyuki Kimoto RBI double in the eighth.
Marines 5, BlueWave 2
At Yahoo BB Stadium, Saburo Omura opening the scoring in the fourth inning with a grand slam off Hidetaka Kawagoe (7-9) to highlight a 3-for-4 evening as the Lotte bats pounded out 12 hits in a victory over Orix.
Shunsuke Watanabe (12-6) came within two outs of a complete game, allowing two runs and six hits, and was relieved with one out and runners on the corners.
Masahide Kobayashi picked up the save after getting the final two outs on a sacrifice fly and a groundout.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.