Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Fighters rookie Uwasawa holds off Buffaloes


Rookie right-hander Naoyuki Uwasawa allowed three runs in seven innings to improve to 3-0 in three starts as the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters beat the Orix Buffaloes 8-3 on Wednesday.

Uwasawa, the Fighters’ sixth draft pick in 2011, has won all three games he’s pitched since making his first team debut this season. He allowed three runs on three hits and a pair of walks over seven innings, but held Orix hitless through six. Uwasawa struck out four.

Shohei Otani, who batted third as the Fighters’ designated hitter, went 2-for-5 with a triple and three RBIs.

“It became an easy game to pitch because the hitters gave me so much support. I owe them for that,” said Uwasawa, who put himself in a hole in the first inning with a pair of walks.

He escaped by striking out slugger Wily Mo Pena and getting a groundout.

“My control wasn’t all that good, but I did manage to get them out nevertheless. I was able to make some subtle adjustments,” said the 20-year-old Uwasawa.

“I just kept thinking, ‘That’s another three outs,’ after each inning, and I was aware they didn’t have a hit, but I wasn’t really thinking about it much.”

Former Fighter Yoshio Itoi broke up Uwasawa’s no-hit bid with a leadoff single in the seventh. One out later, Takahiro Okada broke up the shutout with a home run, and Tomotaka Sakaguchi did the same in the following at-bat.

“I have to reflect on that second homer. The first one couldn’t be helped in that situation but I needed to do something there.”

Hawks 3, Eagles 1

At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Hayato Terahara (1-2) allowed a run in seven innings to earn the win over Tohoku Rakuten as Softbank seized sole control of first place in a game that saw Seiichi Uchikawa go 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs for the Hawks.

Marquee Rakuten rookie Yuki Matsui (0-3) gave up three runs in five innings. He allowed five hits and six walks.

Marines 6, Lions 2

At Saitama’s Seibu Dome, Tomoya Satozaki overturned a 1-0 deficit with a two-run, fourth-inning single, Tadahito Iguchi hit a pair of solo homers in support of starter Takuya Furuya (2-1). The lefty held Seibu to two runs in five innings despite allowing four hits, while walking five and hitting a batter.


Carp 3, Tigers 1

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Carp rookie Daichi Osera (1-1) allowed an unearned run in seven innings and hit a two-run double to win a rookie duel as Hiroshima beat Hanshin to move one game clear at the top of the CL standings.

The right-handed Osera allowed five hits and two walks, while striking out five to outlast the Tigers’ No. 1 draft pick, Yuta Iwasaki (1-1). The lefty allowed three runs in six innings to suffer the loss.

Dragons 7, BayStars 1

At Nagoya Dome, Daisuke Yamai (3-0) allowed a run in seven innings and Kazuhiro Wada homered in the second as Chunichi defeated Yokohama and moved back to .500.

Giants 9, Swallows 8 (10)

At Jingu Stadium, Yomiuri captain Shinnosuke Abe hit his first homer of the year, and broke an 8-8 tie in the 10th with his second as the Giants overcame a four-run, eighth-inning Tokyo Yakult rally and a ninth-inning, game-tying homer from Wladimir Balentien.