KITAKYUSHU – Rick van den Hurk was tagged with his first loss in Nippon Professional Baseball on Tuesday after the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters defeated the Pacific League-leading Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks 7-2 to end his record 14-straight winning decisions to start his NPB career.
Dutch right-hander van den Hurk (5-1), who went 9-0 last year, set the NPB record last Tuesday against the Chiba Lotte Marines but was stung for seven runs on six hits, two walks and one hit batsman over five innings on the day as he struck out four in a 91-pitch outing.
Nippon Ham starter Kohei Arihara (5-0) went the distance as he kept his strong start going, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out four in his 135 pitches at Kitakyushu Stadium.
Van den Hurk hit his second batter before surrendering a two-run homer in the first inning to Shohei Otani, who went deep for the fifth straight game for his eighth of the season. Takuya Nakashima led the third with a single, and Yang Dai-kang doubled the lead with another two-run homer.
A walk and a single saw runners on the corners in the fourth before a one-out sacrifice fly from Tomoya Ichikawa made it 5-0 in the top of the fourth, before the Hawks got their first runs on Akira Nakamura’s two-run double in the bottom of the inning off Arihara.
But van den Hurk, who had a 1.98 ERA before the game, then allowed a leadoff single to Yang and issued a walk before a two-out sac fly from Sho Nakata and Brandon Laird’s RBI single restored the two-run lead for Nippon Ham.
Buffaloes 7, Eagles 1
At Akita’s Komachi Stadium, Brandon Dickson (4-3) held Tohoku Rakuten to a run in seven innings after Yoshio Itoi hit a bases-loaded two run flare in the third off Takahiro Shiomi (1-2) to hand his team the lead for good.
Marines 5, Lions 2
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Kei Hosoya singled in two runs off Seibu’s Isamu Sato (0-2) to give Chiba Lotte a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning.
Also in the fifth, the Marines’ Alfredo Despaigne added two more runs with a double.
Ayumu Ishikawa (3-2) allowed a run in seven innings for the Lions.
BayStars 7, Giants 1
At Nakayama Park Yamagata Stadium, Guillermo Moscoso (3-3) went the distance on five hits after Yasutaka Tobashira drove in a go-ahead run and Masayuki Kuwahara singled in another off Yomiuri’s Tetsuya Utsumi (0-1).
The Giants’ Jose Lopez hit two-run shots in the eighth and ninth.
Dragons 4, Tigers 3
At Koshien Stadium, Kei Nomoto tied it 3-3 in the ninth with an RBI single off Hanshin’s Rafael Dolis (1-2) before an error and a hit batsman loaded the bases and Atsushi Fujii hit a sac fly for the go-ahead run off Daiki Enokida.
Carp 9, Swallows 0
At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Kris Johnson (5-3) threw a five-hitter for his first shutout of the season.
Hiroshima’s Takahiro Arai plated the first run in off Nagisa Arakaki (1-2) in the first with a single and added one more each in the sixth and eighth with a single and solo shot.