Eighth straight vaults Marines atop Pa League


Naoyuki Shimizu threw a four-hitter as the Chiba Lotte Marines shut out the Chunichi Dragons 5-0 in interleague play Saturday to extend their winning streak to eight games and take sole possession of first place in the Pacific League standings.

News photoYokohama Outfielder Hitoshi Tamura belts a solo homer into the left field bleachers in the sixth inning against the Seibu Lions at Yokohama Stadium on Saturday. The BayStars won 8-1.

Shimizu (4-3) struck out seven, walked two and hit a batter at Chiba Marine Stadium in his first complete-game shutout of the season, helping Lotte move a season-high seven games above .500 and take a one-game lead in the PL.

Lotte broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning on a fielding error by Chunichi first baseman Tyrone Woods following a Tsuyoshi Nishioka grounder with two outs and runners at the corners.

An RBI single by Matt Franco and a squeeze bunt by Shoitsu Omatsu made it 3-0 in the fifth before the Marines got insurance runs in the eighth on a Masato Watanabe triple and a double from Nishioka.

Carp 5, Fighters 3

At Hiroshima Stadium, Hiroki Kuroda threw his third complete game of the season and ignited a four-run fifth inning with a squeeze bunt, helping Hiroshima earn its third win in four games while knocking Nippon Ham out of first place in the PL.

Kuroda (4-2) held the Fighters to three runs — two earned — and six hits with five strikeouts and a walk. The Hiroshima ace was backed by rookie shortstop Eishin Soyogi’s two-run home run and a Shigenobu Shima solo shot in the fifth.

BayStars 8, Lions 1 (7)

At Yokohama Stadium, Takuro Ishii, Katsuaki Furuki, Ryoji Aikawa and Hitoshi Tamura all hit solo homers off Fumiya Nishiguchi (3-5) as Yokohama trounced Seibu in a game called in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Tigers 5, Buffaloes 2 (10)

At Koshien Stadium, Tomoaki Kanemoto hit a game-tying solo homer in the ninth inning and Andy Sheets blasted a three-run walkoff homer in the 10th as Hanshin rallied to send Orix to its sixth straight loss.

Sheets hit his ninth homer of the season into the left-field seats off Kazuya Motoyanagi, who relieved Jun Hagiwara (2-3) with one out and runners on first and second in the extra frame.

Eagles 6, Giants 5

At Sendai’s Fullcast Stadium, Tohoku Rakuten handed Giants closer Kiyoshi Toyoda his first loss of the season, rallying for three runs in the bottom of the ninth against the vaunted right-hander.