Hiroki Kuroda held high-flying Tokyo Yakult to a run on seven hits over seven innings as the Hiroshima Carp snapped the Swallows’ seven game winning run with an 11-2 win on Tuesday.
A former Dodger and Yankee, Kuroda (7-4), pitching for the first time since Game 2 of the NPB All-Star Series 10 days ago on his home turf at Mazda Stadium, struck out four and walked none in his 111-pitch outing.
“I haven’t pitched for a while and I know they (Swallows) have a strong lineup capable of scoring from anywhere, so I tried to pitch carefully,” the 40-year-old veteran said.
The Carp had runners on the corners in the opening inning with one out, but Takahiro Arai flew out to left and Mitch Dening threw out Ryosuke Kikuchi at home for a double play at Jingu Stadium.
Yakult couldn’t stop Hiroshima going ahead in the next inning, however, as Eishin Soyogi ripped a solo home run off Nagisa Arakaki (3-9) over the wall in left. Ryuhei Matsuyama added another in the third with a sacrifice fly.
Keiji Obiki pulled a run back for the Swallows with a two-out RBI single off Kuroda in the fourth, but Arakaki loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth with two walks, one to Kuroda, and a single. A two-run double from Yoshihiro Maru knocked out the right-hander.
Arakaki allowed six runs — five earned — on eight hits and three hits. He struck out two.
Kikuchi plated two more with a single off reliever Tetsuya Yamamoto, and Nate Schierholtz, who went 3-for-3 with two walks, padded out Carp’s lead to six runs with an RBI double.
Yuhei Takai had an RBI single in the eighth for Yakult, but Hiroshima added four more in the ninth through a two-run Soyogi double and Kosuke Tanaka’s two-run single off Hugo Kanabushi.
Giants 11, BayStars 3
At Matsuyama’s Botchan Stadium, Yomiuri scored nine runs on 12 hits in four innings off Yokohama’s Yasutomo Kubo (7-6).
Yasuyuki Kataoka went 5-for-5 and drove in three runs to back teammate Miles Mikolas (7-3), who threw seven shutout innings.
Tigers 6, Dragons 4
At Nagoya Dome, Hanshin turned the game around with a six-run third, Matt Murton’s two-run single broke a 2-2 tie, and Taiga Egoshi doubled the lead by singling in two more off Chunichi’s Daisuke Yamai (3-9).
Hawks 5, Eagles 1
At Akita’s Komachi Stadium, Fukuoka Softbank’s Kenichi Nakata (6-3) allowed a run in eight innings, while Kenta Imamiya broke the ice with a two-out RBI double in the fourth and Shinya Tsuruoka singled him home to make it 2-0.
Yuki Yanagita added a two-run homer for the front-running Hawks.
Tohoku Rakuten captain and former big leaguer Kazuo Matsui raised his career hit total in Japan to 2,001 with a single and a double. He bcame the 46th player to reach the nation’s prime batting milestone.
Matsui, batting third and starting in right field, singled with one out in the bottom of the first.
“I’m so happy to get that memorable hit in a home game in front of our fans here in Tohoku,” Matsui said. “However, the number 2,000 is just another step. From here on I want to increase that number more and more.”
The 39-year-old switch-hitter is in his fifth season with the Eagles, the team he joined after seven seasons in the United States. Matsui began his pro career out with the Seibu Lions and moved to the majors at the age of 28 in 2004. He had 615 big league hits in addition to the 2,000 he has in Japan.
Marines 2, Lions 1
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Ayumu Ishikawa (8-7) allowed a run over seven innings, while Tomohisa Otani and Yuji Nishino retired the last six batters in a victory over Seibu.
Shoitsu Omatsu singled and Daichi Suzuki doubled to set up the go-ahead run.
Buffaloes 8, Fighters 4
At Kobe’s Hotto Motto Field, Kyohei Iwasaki, a light-hitting utility man, overturned a one-run deficit with his second career homer, a two-run shot, and Orix held off Hokkaido Nippon Ham.
Esteban German singled in a run in the sixth and Yoshio Itoi doubled in two more in the inning to ice it.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.