Eagles hurler Tanaka runs record to 13-0 to start season


Masahiro Tanaka saw his scoreless-inning streak snapped at 42, but held on to improve to 13-0 this season as the Pacific League-leading Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles beat the Orix Buffaloes 4-1 on Tuesday.

Tanaka surrendered the game’s first run in the third inning at Kyocera Dome. Shunta Goto led off with a grounder that struck the first-base bag and rolled for a double. He scored from third on Ryoichi Adachi’s single.

“It was easy to put that run behind me, because of the way it happened,” said Tanaka, who settled down to go the distance with the help of some offensive support from his teammates.

“The guys had my back and got me some runs. That made my job easier. (The winning streak) is due to the guys leaving it all out on the field. I owe them a debt of gratitude.”

Tanaka has won 17 straight decisions since his last defeat on Aug. 19 2012, equaling the second-longest winning run in PL history.

Hiroaki Shimauchi singled in two runs in the fifth off Orix right-hander Brandon Dickson (5-3). Kazuo Matsui singled in another in the sixth that was also charged to Dickson, who lasted 5 2/3 innings. Shimauchi completed the scoring with a sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth.

After surrendering the lead, Tanaka didn’t allow another hit or walk after that until Kazunao Yamamoto singled with one out in the seventh, and by then the Eagles had taken a 3-1 lead. The right-hander, who allowed five hits and struck out eight, issued his only walk in the ninth.

Marines 6, Hawks 3

At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Yuki Karakawa (5-6) allowed three runs in six innings and six different Chiba Lotte players drove in a run in a win over Fukuoka Softbank.

Tadahito Iguchi doubled with two outs in the first inning off Hayato Terahara (3-4) and scored the game’s first run on a Toshiaki Imae single. New Marine Craig Brazell hit his first home run in the fifth inning to put Lotte ahead 6-0.


Giants 8, Tigers 3

At Koshien Stadium, Yomiuri left a mark on Hanshin in the seventh inning, when the league-leading Giants sent 12 men to the plate and overturned a 3-0 deficit with eight runs.

The Tigers scored three times in the first inning off rookie Tomoyuki Sugano, but the Giants bullpen held second-place Hanshin to just three hits and no runs over the final five innings.

BayStars 13, Swallows 1

At Yokohama Stadium, Tony Blanco’s two-run, third-inning single brought Yokohama from behind and rookie All-Star Kazuki Mishima (3-5) allowed a run in six innings as the BayStars crushed Tokyo Yakult.

The hosts began to pull away when Norihiro Nakamura singled in the first two runs in a four-run fifth inning. Yokohama rubbed salt on the Swallows’ wounds in an eight-hit, seven-run seventh inning.

Dragons 3, Carp 2

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Chunichi overturned a two-run deficit with two runs in the eighth and one in the ninth to defeat Hiroshima after Dragons closer Hitoki Iwase reached 20 or more saves for the 10th straight season.

Ryosuke Hirata plated Chunichi’s first run with a one-out double, and veteran pinch hitter Takeshi Yamasaki singled in the tying run with two outs. Carp closer Kam Mickolio (2-4) took the loss when Yohei Oshima doubled to open the ninth and scored on Masahiko Morino’s sacrifice fly.

Luna deactivated


Central League batting leader Hector Luna was deactivated by the Chunichi Dragons on Tuesday due to pain in his left knee.

Luna, who is leading the CL with a .369 batting average in his first season in Japan, was voted on to the CL All-Star squad by his peers but is leaning toward skipping the three-game series.

The Dragons’ third baseman was pulled from a July 6 game against Yakult with inflammation in his left knee. He returned to action on Saturday and had two pinch-hit appearances over the weekend.

The club intends to have him re-examined after the inflammation subsides in a few days.