Nakamura gives Eagles a big lift


Norihiro Nakamura finished a triple shy of the cycle and drove in five runs as the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles beat the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks 8-6 on Friday.

Nakamura hit a three-run double in the first inning and a tie-breaking two-run homer in the third off Toshiya Sugiuchi (2-1) at Kleenex Stadium.

The third baseman also singled and drew a walk in his other plate appearances.

Jose Ortiz led off the sixth with his fourth home run of the season to draw Softbank within 5-4, but Yosuke Takasu’s sacrifice fly and Takeshi Yamasaki’s two-run double pushed Rakuten’s lead to 8-4 in the eighth.

Hiromichi Fujiwara (1-0) allowed four runs in five-plus innings in his season debut. Sugiuchi struck out 12 but gave up five runs in six innings.

Marines 5, Buffaloes 3

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Yoshihisa Naruse finished one out shy of a complete game and Kim Tae Kyun hit his first home run in Japan as Chiba Lotte beat Orix, leaving the two clubs tied for the Pacific League lead.

Naruse (2-1) allowed three runs and seven hits before Hiroyuki Kobayashi got the final out for his third save.

Kim connected off Kazuki Kondo (1-1) for a two-run shot in the fifth inning.

The Marines took a 3-0 lead in the first on RBI singles from Tadahito Iguchi, Shoitsu Omatsu and Kazuya Fukuura.

Takahiro Okada hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth for the Buffaloes.

Lions 6, Fighters 4

At Sapporo Dome, Hokkaido Nippon Ham first baseman Shinji Takahashi made a two-run throwing error in the eighth inning as Saitama Seibu won a seesaw contest.

Takahashi’s errant throw home on a grounder by Yasuyuki Kataoka scored runners from second and third, allowing Seibu to break a 4-4 tie. Taiyo Fujita (1-0) won in relief.

Hisashi Takeda (0-3) was charged with two unearned runs in 1 1/3 innings. Lions ace Hideaki Wakui gave up four runs and 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings.


Swallows 1, BayStars 0

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Tony Barnette struck out 11 over seven dominant innings and Ryoji Aikawa doubled in the only run of the game, leading Yakult over Yokohama.

Barnette (1-0) allowed three hits, all singles, and walked three in his first start in Japan. Lim Chang Yong pitched the ninth to earn his third save.

Giants 5, Carp 4

At Mazda Stadium, Alex Ramirez homered twice and drove in four runs as Yomiuri handed Hiroshima its fifth consecutive loss.

Ramirez hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning to tie the game 4-4 before adding a solo blast in the seventh off Kenta Maeda (1-1).

Dickey Gonzalez (1-1) allowed four runs over seven innings. Marc Kroon picked up his third save.

Dragons 6, Tigers 5

At Nagoya Dome, Masahiko Morino went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and Chunichi scored five runs in the fourth inning to beat Hanshin.