SENDAI – Rookie right-hander Kota Futaki came within two outs of a shutout as he pitched the Chiba Lotte Marines to a 7-1 win over the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in the Pacific League on Tuesday afternoon.
Before a weekday crowd of 21,520 at Kobo Stadium, the 21-year-old Futaki (1-1) scattered eight hits and a walk over the distance, while striking out six. Working with a six-run lead in the ninth, he surrendered back-to-back, one-out singles before Rakuten rookie Eigoro Mogi broke up the shutout with a sacrifice fly.
“My last game and the game before that, I made early exits and really made extra work for my teammates in middle relief,” Futaki said. “So today, I wanted to pitch late into the game. I’m glad I could throw a complete game.
“Of course, after holding them scoreless through eight innings, I wanted to do the same in the final inning, but I wasn’t strong enough to manage that.”
It was the first career win and third start of the season for Futaki, who turned pro out of high school after Lotte made him its sixth draft pick in 2013. In his two previous starts this season, he had allowed six runs over eight innings.
The Marines, who moved past the Eagles into first place, took a one-run lead in the second on line singles by Katsuya Kakunaka and Tadahito Iguchi, and a sacrifice fly to the warning track by Daichi Suzuki off lefty Wataru Karashima (1-2). Iguchi hit a booming double down the left field line to bring in two more runs in the sixth off Karashima, who left at the end of the inning trailing 3-0.
Fighters 4, Buffaloes 0
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s Mitsuo Yoshikawa (2-1) threw 6-1/3 innings and three relievers completed the shutout of Orix.
The Fighters opened the scoring in the second off Brandon Dickson (2-1). Designated hitter and ace pitcher Shohei Otani singled with one out, went to second on an error and scored on a Brandon Laird single.
Hawks 4, Lions 1
At Tokorozawa’s Seibu Prince Dome, Fukuoka SoftBank southpaw Tsuyoshi Wada (1-1) scattered six hits and two walks to allow just a run in six innings against Seibu.
The former Chicago Cub outdueled Seibu ace Takayuki Kishi (2-1) to earn his first win in Japan since 2011.
Carp 3, Dragons 1
At Hiroshima Prefecture’s Kure Niko Stadium, Yusuke Nomura (2-1) allowed a run in seven innings to pitch Hiroshima past Chunichi.
Brad Eldred broke a 1-1, first-inning tie with an RBI single and gave the hosts a two-run cushion in the sixth inning with his second home run.
Swallows 6, Giants 2
At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Yoshihisa Naruse (2-1) allowed two runs in six innings, and Wataru Hiyane and Tetsuto Yamada each singled in a run in a three-run third as Tokyo Yakult beat Yomiuri.
Tigers 4, BayStars 3
At Koshien Stadium, Shintaro Fujinami (3-0) allowed three runs — two earned — over 6-1/3 innings, Mauro Gomez doubled in two runs in the first inning and Marco Mateo worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his third save as Hanshin held off
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