SENDAI – The Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles showed what they can do when they are healthy on Wednesday.
Masahiro Tanaka made his second solid start since returning from injury, and former Pacific League batting champion Teppei Tsuchiya returned from the farm with a bang as Rakuten routed the Hanshin Tigers 8-3 at Kleenex Stadium.
Tanaka (3-2) the unlucky loser in his previous start — when the Yomiuri Giants’ Toshiya Sugiuchi spoiled his comeback from back trouble by no-hitting the Eagles — went the distance in Sendai, allowing three runs, two earned, over the distance.
The Eagles’ ace scattered eight hits and a walk, while striking out seven. Tanaka had missed more than a month due to stiffness in his lower back and won for the first time since April 19.
Tsuchiya, who had been batting just .228 when he was deactivated at the end of May with a sore shoulder, started for the first time in over two weeks and drove in three runs. His two-run triple broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the second, and he singled in an insurance run in the sixth. He also walked twice.
Jose Fernandez also had three RBIs for the Eagles, going 4-for-5 with a double and a two-run homer.
Fighters 2, Carp 1
At Sapporo Dome, Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s Yuki Saito (5-4) allowed held Hiroshima to just an unearned run in eight innings, and Kensuke Tanaka singled in the winning run in the bottom of the eighth. It was the first time Saito had either won or gone seven innings since May 4.
Carp rookie Yusuke Nomura allowed a run on two hits and three walks over seven innings and did not figure in the decision.
Swallows 4, Orix 2
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome
, Hiroyasu Tanaka’s RBI single opened the scoring for Tokyo Yakult in the top of the fifth and Kazuki Fukuchi’s two-run single capped the three-run outburst against Hiroshi Kisanuki (2-5) as the Swallows ended an 11-game winless streak against Orix.
Orlando Roman (4-5) allowed an unearned run on three hits and three walks in 6⅔ innings. He also hit a batter en route to winning his second straight start.
Lions 3, Dragons 1
At Saitama’s Seibu Dome, southpaw Kazuhisa Ishii (5-2) allowed a run on four walks and four singles over five innings, while Chunichi, which entered the game with the Central League lead, stranded 12 base runners.
Yutaro Osaki’s sacrifice fly opened the scoring for the Lions in the second, and Hiroyuki Nakajima singled in another in the third. A sacrifice fly by Yasuyuki Kataoka completed Seibu’s scoring in the fifth.
Marines 3, BayStars 2
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Seth Greisinger (6-1) allowed an unearned run in 6⅔ innings. He gave up five hits and two walks, while striking out four and moved into a tie for the league lead in wins.
The PL-leading Marines, who won their fourth straight, scored all their runs in the fifth. With a runner on and one out, Shunichi Nemoto, Tadahito Iguchi and Saburo Omura hit consecutive RBI triples to spoil Wang Yi-zheng’s first team debut in Japan.
Giants 4, Hawks 3