FUKUOKA – Hanshin ace Atsushi Nomi struck out 13 batters in six innings and the Hanshin Tigers beat Fukuoka Softbank 4-3 on Saturday, handing the Hawks their first interleague loss of the season.
Nomi (5-4) allowed three runs on seven hits and four walks as the Tigers improved to 2-2 against Pacific League clubs and moved one game back of the Central-League-leading Hiroshima Carp. The lefty walked four.
The Tigers opened the scoring in the first, when Takashi Toritani singled in a run against Kenichi Nakata, who moved from the CL to the PL as a free agent over the winter.
Softbank took the lead in a two-run third, when Nomi issued a bases-loaded walk to Lee Dae-ho and surrendered an RBI single to Nobuhiro Matsuda. The lefty, however, got out of trouble with back-to-back strikeouts, and the Tigers took the lead for good in the top of the fourth.
Toritani, who went 3-for-4, led off with a single, and Nakata loaded the bases with a walk and a hit batsman before walking Kosuke Fukudome to push across the tying run. The visitors added two more on a ground out by Takashi Shimizu and a throwing error by Hawks shortstop Kenta Imamiya.
Nakata (5-2) allowed four runs, three earned, in six innings. He gave up eight hits and two walks, while hitting two batters and striking out two.
Buffaloes 8, Carp 1
At Kobe’s Hotto Motto Field, Keiichi Hirano broke a 1-1 tie in the second inning with a two-run single, and Takahiro Okada hit a two-run homer and had three RBIs as PL-leading Orix moved a season-high 14 games over .500. CL-leading Hiroshima lost its fourth straight.
Marines 6, Giants 2
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Katsuya Kakunaka hit a three-run triple in the fourth inning, and rookie Ayumu Ishikawa (4-2) worked seven scoreless innings as Lotte beat Yomiuri to earn its fifth straight win.
Dragons 2, Eagles 0
At Sendai’s Kobo Stadium Miyagi, Yudai Kawai (1-0) allowed six hits in six scoreless innings, and Chunichi scraped out two runs on four hits to blank Tohoku Rakuten, which fell to a season-worst nine games under .500
Fighters 8, BayStars 0
At Sapporo Dome, Masaru Nakamura (2-0) threw a six-hit shutout in his first career complete game, and Hokkaido Nippon Ham scored four times against Yokohama in the first inning on an RBI double by Shohei Otani and a three-run homer by Juan Miranda.
Lions 12, Swallows 8
At Saitama’s Seibu Dome, Takeya Nakamura hit a three-run, first-inning bomb and Abner Abreu went 4-for-5 with a triple and three RBIs as Seibu snapped a three-game losing streak with a win over Tokyo Yakult.