SAPPORO – Kensuke Tanaka drove in a pair of runs and Yu Darvish earned a career-high 16th win Monday as the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters ended the Chiba Lotte Marines’ four-game winning streak with a 2-1 win and climbed back into third place in the Pacific League.
Tanaka hit a solo homer in the sixth inning and broke a 1-1 tie in the eighth with a fielder’s choice grounder to second at Sapporo Dome, making a winner of Darvish (16-4), who struck out 12 in a complete-game effort to help send the Marines into fourth place.
Darvish allowed five hits, including a seventh-inning RBI double to Tasuku Hashimoto, and a walk in a duel with Hiroyuki Kobayashi (5-12) as the Fighters got a boost in their bid for a playoff berth.
Hawks 4, Eagles 2
At Sendai’s Kleenex Stadium, Nagisa Arakaki outpitched Hisashi Iwakuma and came within one out of his first complete game of the season as Softbank got out of the PL cellar with a win over Rakuten, which fell back into last place.
The Softbank offense backed Arakaki (3-6) by scoring four runs through five innings on a first-inning homer from Nobuhiro Matsuda and a Mitsuru Homma two-run double in the fifth. Arakaki gave up a two-out, two-run single to Masato Nakamura in the ninth after striking out 11 batters.
PL winningest pitcher Iwakuma (20-4) left after five innings and lost his first decision since July 13.
Buffaloes 4, Lions 3 (10)
Tigers 5, Carp 3
At Koshien Stadium, Tomoaki Kanemoto hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning as Central League-leading Hanshin held off Hiroshima to gain a one-game edge over idle Yomiuri.
Kanemoto connected off reliever Hirofumi Ueno (2-2) after Hiroshima came back from three runs down to tie the game on a two-run double by Scott Seabol in the sixth and a Kenta Kurihara run-scoring single in the seventh.
Kyuji Fujikawa (8-1) got the win with two innings of shutout relief.
Makoto Imaoka homered in the second and Takashi Toritani and Akihiro Yano had RBI singles in the fourth for the Tigers. Hiroshima fell a game behind third-place Chunichi in the race for the remaining spot in the Climax Series playoffs.