SAPPORO – Yu Darvish struck out 10 in eight shutout innings as the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters trounced the Chunichi Dragons 9-1 in interleague play Saturday for their third straight victory.
Darvish (8-2) scattered five hits — all singles — and walked two at Sapporo Dome en route to joining the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles’ Masahiro Tanaka as the only eight-game winners in the Pacific League.
Nippon Ham got an RBI double from Yoshio Itoi in the first inning and batted around in the second to build a 7-0 lead, chasing veteran left-hander Masahiro Yamamoto (0-2) in the process.
Itoi, Shinji Takahashi and Shinya Tsuruoka drove in two runs apiece in the game.
“Darvish was our starter tonight, so I was going to the plate thinking things would get easier if we could score first,” said Itoi, who has batted third in the lineup in place of injured Atsunori Inaba.
“The only thing I wanted to avoid was a strikeout. I tried to make contact with the ball no matter what,” he said.
Hawks 3, Giants 1
At Fukuoka’s Yahoo Dome, Nobuhiro Matsuda broke a 1-1 tie with a solo home run in the fifth inning and Justin Germano (2-0) allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings as Softbank rallied to beat Yomiuri.
Nobuhiko Matsunaka hit a tying single in the fourth and Matsuda connected off Tetsuya Utsumi (2-4) an inning later for his second homer in as many games.
Jose Ortiz doubled in an insurance run in the eighth. Takahiro Mahara picked up his 12th save with a 1-2-3 ninth.
Marines 9, Tigers 1
At Chiba Marine Stadium, Tadahito Iguchi and Shoitsu Omatsu drove in six runs between them, and Shingo Ono limited the damage to one run over eight innings, leading Chiba Lotte to a rout of Hanshin.
Iguchi put Lotte on the scoreboard with a two-run single in the third inning off Shinobu Fukuhara (3-5). Omatsu added a two-run double in the fourth and a two-run single in the seventh.
Lions 4, Carp 2
At Seibu Dome, Yasuyuki Kataoka had a go-ahead two-run double in the second inning and Takahiko G.G. Sato added a two-run homer in the third as Seibu held off Hiroshima.
Swallows 3, Buffaloes 1
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Ryoji Aikawa hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the second as Tokyo Yakult beat Orix to match a season high by moving nine games above .500.
Eagles 4, BayStars 0
At Kleenex Stadium, Satoshi Nagai pitched a two-hitter for his first shutout of the season as Tohoku Rakuten sent Yokohama to its third loss in a row.
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