YOKOHAMA – Rookie Shota Imanaga won his fourth straight start as the Yokohama Baystars won their sixth straight and improved to .500 with a defeat of the Central League front-running Hiroshima Carp 3-1 on Saturday.
Before 28,916 at Yokohama stadium, Yoshitomo Tsutsugo hit a two-run homer in the fourth off Hiroshima starter Akitake Okada (0-2), who like Imanaga was his team’s first-round draft pick last autumn. Imanaga (4-4), who earned his first career win against Hiroshima on May 6, allowed a run on six hits in 6⅔ innings. He walked two and struck out eight.
The lefty allowed a hit in each of his first four innings, but no runs until after two were down in the seventh. His throwing error gave the Carp a runner, who scored after hits by Tsubasa Aizawa and Ryuhei Matsuyama. Imanaga got the hook after issuing a walk to load the bases. Reliever Kota Suda, however, struck out Ryosuke Kikuchi looking to get out of the jam.
Okada allowed just one runner through 3⅓ innings before Tomo Otosaka reached on an infield single and Tsutsugo went deep for the 12th time this season. The right-hander allowed six hits and walked two while fanning five in six innings.
Otosaka restored the BayStars’ two-run cushion in the bottom of the seventh with an RBI double off reliever Takeru Imamura. BayStars closer Yasuaki Yamasaki allowed the tying runs to reach base with no outs, but struck out the last three Carp hitters to post his 13th save.
Tigers 6, Giants 4
Swallows 9, Dragons 6
Fighters 7, Eagles 1
At Kobo Stadium Miyagi, Luis Mendoza (4-3) scattered eight hits and two walks over seven innings to allow just a run to earn the win with the help of four home runs, including Brandon Laird’s 14th and 15th, as Hokkaido Nippon Ham beat Tohoku Rakuten to snap a three-game losing streak.
Hawks 10, Marines 2
At QVC Marine Field, Kodai Senga (4-0) pitched out of a series of jams to allow just two runs over seven innings and Fukuoka SoftBank hit three home runs in a demolition of Chiba Lotte that dropped the second-place Marines five games behind the league-leading Hawks.
Buffaloes 8, Lions 6