Lotte’s Karakawa stymies Swallows


Yuki Karakawa threw one-run ball over eight innings and Tadahito Iguchi hit a two-run blast as the Chiba Lotte Marines came from behind to defeat the CL-leading Tokyo Yakult Swallows 7-1 on Sunday afternoon.

Shoitsu Omatsu and Toshiaki Imae hit consecutive run-scoring singles against Masanori Ishikawa (4-4) to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead and Kazuya Fukuura tacked on a two-run single for good measure in a four-run sixth at Jingu Stadium.

The Marines strung together five singles in the big inning, which featured Omatsu’s bounder over the head of first baseman Josh Whitesell with runners at the corners.

“I was thinking that I wanted to put runners back on first and third, since it makes it easier for Imae to hit,” Omatsu said after Lotte pulled out of last place.

Karakawa (6-2) allowed six hits, walked four and struck out three and matched a career high in wins. Iguchi, who went 2-for-5, went deep to the stands in left in a three-run ninth.

“I felt that I could probably get a hit in that situation,” Imae said of his go-ahead single to right.

Karakawa said at the least he hopes to notch double-digit wins this season. “I have nothing really to say about that (six wins). The team has higher expectations of me. I was able to get strikes today with my breaking ball and recovered after a shaky start. I was very relaxed,” he said.

Carp 2, Fighters 1

At Mazda Stadium, Takahiro Iwamoto hit a tiebreaking single in the sixth inning and rookie Yuya Fukui (3-3) earned his first win since May 3, yielding one run in seven innings as Hiroshima edged Hokkaido Nippon Ham.

Kenta Kurihara opened the scoring with a RBI single off Brian Wolfe (7-2) in the first inning before Atsunori Inaba’s sac fly tied the game a 1-all in the top of sixth. Dennis Sarfate worked the ninth for his 13th save.

Giants 10, Lions 1

At Tokyo Dome, rookie Hirokazu Sawamura went seven scoreless innings and won his first decision this season on home turf as Yomiuri pounded Seibu.

Sawamura (3-5) allowed five hits, struck out seven and walked two and escaped a one-out bases-loaded jam with consecutive strikeouts in the fourth. Kazuhisa Makita (2-4) took the loss.

Shinnosuke Abe and Hayato Sakamoto hit two-run drives in the sixth and eighth, respectively.

Hawks 9, BayStars 2

At Yokohama Stadium, Nobuhiro Matsuda went 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs in Softbank’s rout of Yokohama, which became the first team to lose 30 games in Japanese baseball this season.

Matsuda had a two-run shot to open the scoring in the second and Seiichi Uchikawa and Hiroki Kokubo hit back-to-back homers in a four-run fifth against Kota Suda (1-5). Tadashi Settsu (6-3) limited the damage to two runs in seven innings.

Dragons 2, Buffaloes 1 (10)

At Nagoya Dome, Masaaki Koike delivered a pinch-hit game-ending homer off Mamoru Kishida (1-3) in the 10th inning to lift Chunichi over Orix.

Tigers 7, Eagles 0

At Koshien Stadium, Jason Standridge (4-2) made effective use of his breaking ball to throw his first shutout of the season and Takashi Toritani went 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs as Hanshin romped over Tohoku Rakuten, which fell back into last place in the PL.