TOKOROZAWA, SAITAMA PREF. – Shota Takeda allowed two runs in eight innings as the Pacific League-leading Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks beat the Seibu Lions 6-2 on Tuesday.
Takeda (11-4) gave up four hits, while striking out seven and walking one. Lefty Masahiko Morifuku and right-hander Robert Suarez worked the ninth to close it out.
“I have a positive image (against them),” Takeda said. “My teammates gave me some runs to work with and I could pitch with some margin for error.”
Kenta Imamiya opened the scoring for the visitors with two outs in the top of the third, when he had the game’s first hit, a solo homer off Seibu ace Takayuki Kishi (4-6). The right-hander surrendered five runs over six innings before 21,963 at Seibu Prince Dome.
With SoftBank leading 1-0 in the bottom of the third, Hawks right fielder Yuki Yoshimura misplayed a ball that led a leadoff triple, but Takeda kept the Lions from scoring.
“That happens sometimes,” Takeda said. “I was able to bail us out with my pitching.”
The Hawks, who are aiming for their third straight PL pennant, broke the game open after one out in the sixth. Back-to-back singles by Yuya Hasegawa and Yuki Yanagita, and a walk by cleanup hitter Seiichi Uchikawa set the table for Nobuhiro Matsuda, who singled in two runs. Akira Nakamura followed with a two-run double.
Seibu’s two runs came in the bottom of the inning, when Tomoya Mori homered with two outs and a man on.
Eagles 2, Buffaloes 1
At Sendai’s Kobo Stadium, Orix’s Yuki Nishi (6-10) pitched a complete game, allowing a run on four hits.
Ginji Akaminai won it for Tohoku Rakuten with a one-out, bases-loaded RBI single.
Marines 4, Fighters 3
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s Luis Mendoza (7-5) allowed a three-run, first-inning homer to Katsuya Kakunaka, and Chiba Lotte’s Jason Standridge (6-5) held on to the lead despite surrendering three runs in 5-1/3 innings.
Giants 7, Dragons 2
At Nagoya Dome, Shuichi Murata went 3-for-4 with a double, a sacrifice fly and three RBIs as Yomiuri beat Chunichi.
The Giants finished with 14 hits , pounding out 10 or more for the third straight game.
Tigers 6, BayStars 2
At Yokohama Stadium, with the game tied 2-2 in the ninth, All-Star closer Yasuaki Yamasaki (2-3) allowed two no-out hits, and then loaded the bases intentionally before issuing a tie-breaking bases-loaded walk and a two-run single as Yokohama fell to Hanshin.
Carp 16, Swallows 4
At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Takahiro Arai went 2-for-2 with two walks, a sacrifice fly, three RBIs and his 300th career home run to pace league-leading Hiroshima to one-sided win over 2015 CL champion Tokyo Yakult, which lost its seventh straight.