NAGOYA – Jordan Norberto blanked the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters over 7⅔ innings and Ryosuke Hirata hit a decisive RBI double as the Chunichi Dragons claimed a 1-0 win to snap their four-game skid on Friday in interleague action.
Norberto (4-1), who fanned eight while allowing five hits and two walks, outlasted his unfortunate counterpart Luis Mendoza (4-4), who held Chunichi to a run on three hits with no walks in seven innings. Mendoza struck out six.
Mendoza started with three perfect innings but gave up a leadoff single to Yohei Oshima in the fourth. After a sacrifice, Hirata doubled to the left field to drive in the precious run.
Norberto allowed a leadoff single in the sixth to Haruki Nishikawa. With Nishikawa on third with two outs later in the inning, Norberto got the better of Sho Nakata as he retired the slugger on a foul fly.
“All my pitches were good today,” Norberto said. “I knew I was facing someone who can go deep, so I just concentrated on not throwing an easy ball.
“The win is down to (catcher Iori) Katsura too. We’ve been on a skid, so I was trying to stop that.”
Hirata said he was lifted by the left-hander’s performance on the mound when hitting the double.
“I thought that was the only chance we were going to get,” the Dragons captain said. “Jordan was hanging in there, pitching with determination and that inspired me.”
Norberto gave up another leadoff single in the eighth to Kenji Yano, and saw him reach third with two outs before he got the hook. Reliever Katsuki Matayoshi issued a walk, but struck out Nakata swinging to come away unscathed before Shinji Tajima worked a 1-2-3 ninth to post his fourth save.
Nippon Ham saw its three-game winning streak ended.
Marines 5, Giants 1
At Tokyo Dome, Chiba Lotte’s Katsuya Kakunaka hit a tie-breaking solo shot off Tomoyuki Sugano’s (5-3) first pitch in the sixth and Hideaki Wakui (6-3) went the distance for his first win since April 29 as the Marines won their sixth straight. Lotte’s Alfredo Despaigne drove in a run in the seventh and another in the ninth.
Swallows 5, Lions 1
At Jingu Stadium, Akihisa Nishida hit a go-ahead solo homer in the fourth inning and Tetsuto Yamada hit a two-run shot in the seventh — his 22nd of the season — as Tokyo Yakult topped Seibu. Hirofumi Yamanaka (3-5) pitched six innings of one-run ball to earn the win.
Eagles 8, BayStars 5
At Yokohama Stadium, Tohoku Rakuten’s Kazuya Fujita went 4-for-5, including a two-run triple in the seventh, and drove in three runs, while Takahiro Shiomi (4-3) allowed three runs in six to pick up the win as Yokohama lost its third straight.
Carp 6, Buffaloes 4 (12)
At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Seiya Suzuki hit a sayonara two-run home run to lift the Carp in the 12th inning.
Tigers 3, Hawks 2
Kosuke Fukudome connected on a game-winning single in the ninth for Hanshin.