SENDAI – Yoshinao Kamata located his pitches precisely over seven innings to win a pitcher’s duel with Shohei Otani as the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles beat the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 1-0 in the Pacific League on Sunday.
Kamata (1-0) allowed four hits and a walk, while striking out six. Hiroyuki Fukuyama and Yuki Matsui completed the shutout with one inning apiece.
Rookie shortstop Eigoro Mogi had two of the Eagles’ six hits off Otani (0-2) and drove in the game’s only run.
Rakuten’s Zelous Wheeler led off fourth inning and lined a hanging 3-2 forkball into shallow center, where it was misplayed into a double by utility man Kenshi Sugiya. Toshiaki Imae hit behind the runner, advancing Wheeler to third with a grounder to first.
Otani left a forkball up in the zone against Mogi, and the rookie knocked it up the middle for an RBI single.
“Mogi made it look like it’s not that hard to hit him (Otani),” Eagles manager Masataka Nashida said.
Otani, whose earned run average dropped to 1.71, allowed six hits and no walks in his eight-inning complete game loss. The right-hander, the hardest-throwing pitcher in Japan, struck out eight.
Marines 4, Lions 2
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Tadahito Iguchi overturned a one-run deficit with a three-run, third-inning home run off Andy Van Hekken (0-2) as Chiba Lotte defeated Seibu after Jason Standridge (1-2) allowed two runs in seven innings for his first win as a Marine.
Hawks 10, Buffaloes 0
At Kumamoto Fujisakidai Stadium, Shota Takeda (2-1) threw seven innings to earn the win, and Fukuoka SoftBank pummeled Orix right-hander Yuki Nishi (0-3) for six runs on eight hits and three walks over 5⅓ innings.
BayStars 6, Swallows 5
At Yokohama Stadium, Yoshitomo Tsutsugo hit his league-leading fifth home run, a two-run, first-inning shot off rookie Juri Hara (0-2), while Kenta Ishida allowed two runs in six innings to earn the win. Yokohama marked consecutive victories for the first time this season and moved past the Swallows into fifth place.
Giants 7, Dragons 2
At Nagoya Dome, Soichiro Tateoka’s RBI single tied it in the seventh and Hayato Sakamoto’s two-run double put Yomiuri ahead for good in a come-from-behind win over Chunichi.
Carp 8, Tigers 7
At Nishinomiya’s Koshien Stadium, Hiroshima overcame a two-run deficit in the fifth inning on three straight RBI singles by Yoshihiro Maru, Hector Luna and Brad Eldred and then sweated out a late Hanshin rally to move into a tie for second with the Tigers.
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