SENDAI – Yusei Kikuchi (5-6) worked 6⅔ scoreless innings to help the Seibu Lions snap their franchise-worst 13 game losing streak with a 6-1 win over the Tohoku Rakuten Eagles.
Kikuchi, a native of the Tohoku region, allowed five hits and two walks, while striking out five at Sendai’s Kobo Miyagi Stadium.
“It’s been such a long time,” said the lefty, who grew up in neighboring Iwate Prefecture. “Not being able to win is really frustrating. This is such a relief.
“I love Tohoku. I was helped by some good plays by our fielders and by some hard-hit balls that went straight to them.”
Takeya Nakamura singled in Shogo Akiyama to open the scoring in the first off Wataru Karashima (3-5). Nakamura went 4-for-5 in the game, while Akiyama was 3-for-5 with a solo home run that opened a three-run ninth.
Hawks 4, Fighters 3 (11)
At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, pinch hitter Yuichi Honda brought Akira Nakamura home from second with a one-out single as runaway PL leader SoftBank defeated Hokkaido Nippon Ham.
Marines 1, Buffaloes 0
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Lotte captain Daichi Suzuki tripled to open the ninth and then scored the game’s only run on a passed ball on the next pitch. Orix wasted a gutty effort from starter Daiki Tomei, who allowed seven hits and two walks but no runs over eight innings.
Tigers 8, Carp 2
At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Hanshin ace Atsushi Nomi (8-9) allowed two runs, both in the eighth inning after the game was well in hand, while Matt Murton homered and went 4-for-5 in a rout of the Carp.
Giants 6, Swallows 5
At Jingu Stadium, Shuichi Murata homered twice to lift league-leading Yomiuri to victory in a seesaw game over Tokyo Yakult.
Hisayoshi Chono hit the Giants’ big blast, a three-run shot in a four-run fourth that erased the lead the hosts had from a solo homer by pitcher Yasuhiro Ogawa in the third. Murata’s second homer, a two-run blast, overturned the Swallows’ second lead of the night.
Dragons 6, BayStars 4
At Nagoya Dome, Chunichi overcame a three-run deficit in a five-hit, five-run eighth inning against Yokohama that saw Yoichi Oshima’s two-out, two-run single put the Dragons ahead for good. The comeback salvaged what had been a good start by ace Kazuki Yoshimi, who allowed a run in five innings in his first action since May 30.
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