SENDAI – Softbank’s Kenji Otonari held the Tohoku Rakuten Eagles hitless through six innings but the Hawks wasted the stellar outing to tie 0-0 in 12 innings on Thursday night.
The fifth-year Otonari gave up a leadoff double to Ryo Hijirisawa in the seventh and did not allow another hit before departing after the eighth with the score 0-0 at Kleenex Stadium.
It turned out to be Rakuten’s only hit all game as relievers Masahiko Morifuku, Brian Falkenborg and Takahiro Mahara finished out a one-hitter.
Otonari struck out eight for first-place Softbank, which failed to conquer Rakuten’s young ace Masahiro Tanaka, who went 10 innings, throwing 136 pitches.
Tanaka, who fanned nine, stood at 9-2 on the season despite yet another strong start for the fifth-place Eagles. Rakuten has scored the fewest runs in Japanese baseball this year.
Marines 2, Lions 1
At QVC Marine Field, Atsushi Kobayashi (1-2) won the first game of his career with seven scoreless innings, leading Chiba Lotte to its third win in a row.
Giants 4, Tigers 0
At Koshien Stadium, Yomiuri’s Dicky Gonzalez (1-1) scattered five hits over seven innings, combining with two relievers to shut out Hanshin.
Carp 2, BayStars 1
At Mazda Stadium, Hiroshima ace Kenta Maeda (4-6) tied a career high with 11 strikeouts, holding Yokohama to one earned run on six hits in eight innings.
Dragons 2, Swallows 2 (10)
At Jingu Stadium, Josh Whitesell’s two-run home run in the sixth sent the game into extra innings as Yakult and Chunichi settled for a tie.
More WBC share wanted
(Kyodo) Owners of Japan’s 12 pro baseball clubs decided at a meeting Thursday to form a negotiating team to demand more money to play in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
The team, to be headed by Nippon Professional Baseball commissioner Ryozo Kato and Tohoku Rakuten Eagles owner Toru Shimada, wants a larger share of the profits after 66 percent of income generated from the 2009 WBC won by Japan was distributed to Major League Baseball and MLB players’ union, while Japan only received 13 percent.
“There is a common view when you look at the contribution to the WBC that the Japan national team and Japanese corporate sponsors that the returns are not enough,” said Shimada.