Chen flirts with perfect game in Dragons win


Chen Wei-yin carried a perfect game into the eighth inning on the way to his first shutout of the season, leading the Chunichi Dragons to a 1-0 over the Yomiuri Giants on Wednesday.

Chen (5-7) did not allow a runner until Michihiro Ogasawara hit a one-out single in the eighth. He walked none and allowed two hits while striking out four in a 96-pitch outing at Nagoya Dome.

Motonobu Tanishige had an RBI single off Tetsuya Utsumi (12-3) with two outs in the sixth inning to drive in the lone run. The Giants saw their winning streak snapped at three games and returned to .500.

Carp 5, Tigers 4

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Akihiro Higashide hit a tiebreaking RBI single in a three-run fifth inning and Hiroshima held off Hanshin in a 12-hit attack to win its second in a row.

Hanshin closed the gap by scoring two runs in the seventh, but it wasn’t enough.

BayStars 10, Swallows 10 (9)


Fighters 9, Marines 0

At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Daikan Yoh had a three-run triple in a six-run sixth inning in support of Keisaku Itokazu, who threw his first career shutout in Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s rout of Chiba Lotte.

Itokazu (4-2) gave up just four singles, struck out five and walked one in a 117-pitch outing. Tomohisa Otani (3-6) took the loss.

Hawks 2, Buffaloes 0

At Fukuoka’s Yahoo Dome, Tsuyoshi Wada pitched 6⅔ scoreless innings, Nobuhiko Matsunaka hit a leadoff homer off Kazuki Kondo (2-5) in the fourth and PL leader Softbank blanked Orix.

Alex Cabrera chipped in with an RBI double in the eighth. Wada (10-4) struck out 10 and allowed four hits with three walks. Brian Falkenborg pitched the ninth for his 13th save.

Lions 2, Eagles 2 (9)

At Saitama’s Seibu Dome, Hiroyuki Nakajima had a game-tying RBI single in the fifth inning as Seibu played Rakuten to a tie in nine innings. Seibu put runners on first and second with one out in the ninth, but both Takeya Nakamura and Jose Fernandez were retired.

Thome takes game off


One night after hitting his 600th home run, Minnesota’s Jim Thome is out of the starting lineup.

Manager Ron Gardenhire is giving his slugger some rest while the Twins take on Detroit ace Justin Verlander.

Thome hit homers No. 599 and 600 in back-to-back innings Monday night, earning a standing ovation from the Detroit fans. He’s only the eighth player to reach the mark.

The 40-year-old Thome has been bothered by injuries this season but is still hitting home runs at a decent clip, with 11 in 185 at-bats in 2011.

Thome’s accomplishment is reverberating around baseball. Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel, who managed Thome with the Phillies and Cleveland, calls him “a credit to the game.”