SAPPORO – Flame-thrower Shohei Otani logged two 162-km-per-hour pitches but took his fourth loss of the season as the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters were beaten 6-3 by the Seibu Lions on Sunday.
Otani (1-4) gave up five runs, four earned, in six-plus innings as he struck out 11 and issued five walks in a 131-pitch outing. The 21-year-old gave up a tie-breaking, three-run homer to slugger Takeya Nakamura in the seventh after striking him out in all three previous at-bats.
“I hadn’t been hitting when I had chances, so I was glad to hit one,” Nakamura said. “I do try to keep concentrated in each of my at-bats and just felt it’s finally hit my bat.”
Otani hit 162 kph in the fifth, first with his third pitch against Ernesto Mejia before he hit a two-run double to tie the game 2-2, then against Hideto Asamura as he struck out looking on the third pitch for the second out of the inning.
Otani already logged that speed on Oct. 5 in 2014 against the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles to tie the NPB record set by former Yomiuri Giants closer Marc Kroon in 2008, and again during a preseason game this March.
The Fighters took the lead through Sho Nakata’s RBI double in the first off Ryoma Nogami and Nakata again plated off the right-hander in the third with a single.
Nogami allowed two runs on six hits and two walks in five innings, striking out four.
Otani issued a walk before the runner reached second and Masatoshi Okada singled in Seibu’s first run in the fourth. With the game tied, Otani issued a walk to open the seventh and shortstop Takuya Nakashima spilled the ball for an error before Nakamura slugged his second homer in two days to chase the right-hander.
Mejia hit a sac fly for the Lions’ sixth run in the eighth, while the Fighters loaded the bases in the ninth but settled for just a run on Nakata’s sac fly.
Reliever Kazuhisa Makita (4-0) picked up the win after throwing three shutout innings on three hits and a walk, fanning one as Seibu snapped a four-game winless streak.
Marines 9, Eagles 8 (11)
At QVC Marine Field, Chiba Lotte’s Kei Hosoya hit a grand slam in the sixth and Alfredo Despaigne hit a walk-off RBI single in the 11th off Tohoku Rakuten closer Yuki Matsui (0-3). Marines starter Yuki Karakawa gave up five runs in six innings, and Eagles’ Yoshinao Kamata likewise with one out short.
Hawks 2, Buffaloes 1
At Hotto Motto Field, Fukuoka SoftBank’s Taisei Makihara opened the scoring with a safety squeeze in the third and hit a tie-breaking sac fly in the seventh off Orix’s Yuki Nishi (2-5). Shota Takeda (5-1) held the Buffaloes to a run on Brent Morel’s solo shot in the fifth.
Giants 3, Swallows 2
At Tokyo Dome, Yomiuri won its fourth straight to stay in the CL lead as Yoshiyuki Kamei made it 3-0 in the first with a two-run single off Tokyo Yakult’s Juri Hara (2-3) and Hayato Takagi (3-3) held the Swallows to Wladimir Balentien’s solo shot and an RBI single over seven.
Dragons 3, Carp 3 (12)
At Nagoya Dome, Masahiro Araki’s sac fly and Ryosuke Hirata’s two-run single in the third off Kyohei Nakamura turned the game around for Chunichi, but Tomohiro Abe, who drove in a run with a sac fly in the second, singled in the game-tying run off Kazuki Yoshimi in the fourth before the game ended in a tie.
Tigers 5, BayStars 5 (12)
At Yokohama Stadium, Hanshin’s Takashi Toritani had a two-run shot in the fourth and drove in another with a single in the sixth off Yokohama’s Shun Yamaguchi, but the BayStars scored five over the eighth and ninth to take the game to tie, capped by Tatsuya Shimozono’s RBI single.