Lions’ Makita tosses eight-hit shutout


Kazuhisa Makita, the Seibu’s submarine right-hander, scattered eight hits over the distance for his first shutout of the season as the Pacific League-leading Lions beat the Chiba Lotte Marines 8-0 on Tuesday night.

The Lions took the lead on a fourth-inning sacrifice fly by Esteban German. Ginjiro Sumitani scored for Seibu in the fifth after a leadoff single, a wild pitch and back-to-back groundouts. Marines pitchers issued five walks in the eighth as the Lions put the game away.

Makita (3-0), who was the closer for Japan in the recent World Baseball Classic, walked one batter, hit another and did not strike anyone out in a 125-pitch effort. Marines right-hander Yuji Nishino (2-1) worked seven innings, allowing six hits and a walk while striking out three in suffering the first loss of his career.

“My form wasn’t very good tonight, but somehow I was able to hang on,” said Makita. “I made some adjustments and was able to pitch. Lotte’s batters were swinging early in the counts so I thought I could get them to hit my pitches.”

Hawks 3, Fighters 2

At Fukuoka’s Yahoo Dome, former National League All-Star Bryan LaHair overturned a two-run deficit with his sixth home run of the season, a three-run shot in the bottom of the first off Kazuhito Tadano (0-2) as Fukuoka Softbank defeated Hokkaido Nippon Ham.

The visitors took the lead in the top of the first off Hawks starter Kenji Otonari (1-2) on a run-scoring double by Sho Nakata. Masaya Ozaki, in his 11th year as a pro, made it 2-0 when he drove in his first career run with a single before the home team’s rally.

Eagles 9, Buffaloes 3

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Tohoku Rakuten came from two runs down to tie it on a fourth-inning solo homer by Casey McGehee and a fifth-inning RBI single by Motohiro Shima. Teppei Tsuchiya put the visitors in front with an RBI single in the seventh that plated the first run in a five-run inning against Orix.

Eagles ace Masahiro Tanaka (3-0) allowed three runs on eight hits and walked three in a 133-pitch effort. The right-hander struck out six.

The Buffaloes’ five pitchers allowed a total of nine walks.


Swallows 3, Carp 1

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Wladimir Balentien broke a 1-1 tie with a two-out, two-run double in the eighth inning as Tokyo Yakult snapped a five-game losing streak in a game that saw both benches empty in the top of the inning.

Swallows reliever Masaya Emura (1-0) sparked the disturbance when he hit Hiroshima pinch hitter Tomonori Maeda. Carp pitching coach Kenji Furusawa was ejected after he grabbed Swallows pitching coach Daisuke Araki.

Yakult’s Tetsuya Yamamoto earned his first career save. Takeru Imamura (0-2) took the loss.

Dragons 15, Tigers 3

At Nagoya Dome, Chunichi ace Kazuki Yoshimi (1-2) allowed three runs over seven innings to collect his first win of the year, and Kazuhiro Wada drove in six runs as the Dragons hammered Hanshin.

Wada opened the onslaught with a sacrifice fly in a two-run first against Tigers ace Atsushi Nomi (1-2).

Wada hit a three-run double in the Dragons’ eight-run fifth, and hit his fourth homer of the season, a two-run shot, in the seventh.

Giants 8, BayStars 7

At Kobe’s Hotto Motto Field, Yomiuri right-hander Ryosuke Miyaguni (2-1) worked five-plus innings and delivered the game-winning RBI with a two-run, second-inning triple as the Giants survived a furious Yokohama comeback.

Tony Blanco opened the BayStars’ four-run sixth with his 11th homer of the year and hit another solo shot in the seventh. Blanco has homered in five straight games.

Yomiuri captain Shinnosuke Abe left the game in the fourth inning after he was hit by a pitch.