OSAKA – Park Chan Ho gave a vintage performance over seven shutout innings on Friday, leading the way in the Orix Buffaloes’ 2-0 win over the Seibu Lions.
The 37-year-old South Korean, who had stints with the Los Angeles Dodgers in his heyday from 1994-2001 and last played for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2010, allowed three hits, struck out six and walked four at Kyocera Dome.
The veteran right-hander was instrumental in helping Orix snap a three-game losing streak.
“This was a very significant game for us. One of our catchers got hurt (in the third inning). I have to take my hat off to the two catchers that helped me pitch a great game tonight,” Park said.
Park yielded three runs in 6 innings in a 3-2 loss to the Tohoku Rakuten Eagles in his first start in Japan on April 15, but prevailed this time in another nail biter.
Mamoru Kishida worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his second save of the season.
Koji Yamasaki had a sac fly in the second inning and Hirotoshi Kitagawa chipped in with an RBI single in the third.
Kazuhisa Makita (0-1) took the loss for Seibu, which has lost five straight.
Fighters 4, Eagles 3
At Hotto Motto Field, Yang Dai-kang hit a tiebreaking RBI single to shallow left field in the top of the ninth and Hokkaido Nippon Ham held off Tohoku Rakuten to pick up its fifth win in a row.
Kensuke Tanaka tied the game with his two-out, RBI single, setting the stage for Yang’s heroics with runners on first and second. Bobby Keppel (1-0) got the win and Ryan Speier (0-1) was tagged for the loss for the Eagles.
Tigers 4, BayStars 3
At Koshien Stadium, Takahiro Arai came to the rescue with a walk-off RBI double with two outs in the ninth inning as Hanshin avoided consecutive defeats with a win over Yokohama.
Hanshin closer Kyuji Fujikawa (1-0) fanned three in the ninth for the win. Matt Murton had an RBI double in the second and a game-tying solo homer in the seventh against reliever Clayton Hamilton.
Shigeru Kaga (1-1) took the loss for the BayStars, who have lost five in a row.
Yokohama slugger Terrmel Sledge hit his CL-leading sixth homer.
Swallows 5, Carp 0
At Mazda Stadium, Hitoshi Yamamoto went seven scoreless innings as Tokyo Yakult notched its third straight shutout, beating Hiroshima for its fifth consecutive victory.
Yamamoto (1-0), making his first start of the season, gave up two singles, struck out five with two free passes on the night en route to his first career victory.