Darvish picks up win in return to rotation


In his long-waited return from shoulder fatigue, Yu Darvish threw one-run ball over eight innings to lead the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters to a 3-1 win over the Chiba Lotte Marines in snapping a six-game losing streak on Sunday.

Darvish (15-5), who made his first start since Aug. 21, scattered six hits, struck out five and walked none to become the first 15-game winner this season in Japan.

“I knew I had to be the one to stop the losing streak,” Darvish said. “I believe we can eventually drop our magic number to zero with a team effort. I just brought the team momentum, so we’ll be fine from here.”

Hisashi Takeda pitched the ninth for his Pacific League-leading 30th save.

Hawks 2, Eagles 1

At Fukuoka’s Yahoo Dome, Munenori Kawasaki singled in the game-ending run and Toshiya Sugiuchi pitched one-run ball for his fifth complete game of the season as Fukuoka Softbank beat Tohoku Rakuten to end its four-game losing skid.

Sugiuchi (15-3) allowed three hits and struck out 11 to match Darvish for the most wins in the PL.

Lions 10, Buffaloes 8

At Seibu Dome, Hiroyuki Nakajima and Takeya Nakamura each homered twice and combined for five RBIs as Saitama Seibu beat Orix.


Giants 4, Carp 2

At Mazda Stadium, Hisanori Takahashi limited the damage to two runs in five innings, Alex Ramirez hit a two-run homer and Yomiuri beat Hiroshima.

Dragons 7, Swallows 2

At Nagoya Dome, Kazuhiro Wada and Kazuki Inoue drove in two runs apiece and Kenichi Nakata pitched two-run ball over six innings as Chunichi romped over Tokyo Yakult.

Tigers 2, BayStars 1

At Koshien Stadium, Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi pitched one-run ball over six innings and combined with two relievers on a three-hitter as Hanshin defeated Yokohama to move into third place for the first time since May 15.