CHIBA – Ayumu Ishikawa shut out the Pacific-League leading Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks on two hits and tagged them with their season-worst sixth straight defeat on Friday, while tying Hawks starter Tsuyoshi Wada for the league lead in wins.
Ishikawa (12-3) walked one and fanned six in his 107-pitch outing, and got the lead through Alfredo Despaigne’s sixth-inning two-run homer. Wada (12-4) issued a leadoff walk and let the Cuban hammer a high, full-count fastball off the top of the hitter’s background at QVC Marine Field.
“I gave my best,” said Ishikawa. “My mechanics weren’t good in the first inning but I had good form when runners were on. I was getting exhausted in the ninth and they all connected well.”
Wada allowed six hits and issued three walks in a 134-pitch start, striking out four. SoftBank last lost six straight at the end of last season after clinching the pennant. Prior to that, they last lost six straight in 2012 — when they finished third after winning the PL the previous two seasons.
“Wada is a really good pitcher but I was prepared in that at-bat,” Despaigne said. “I was waiting for a fastball and could put a good swing on it although it was a bit out of the zone. It’s hard to hit a home run here but the wind was blowing in the right direction.”
It was the Marines’ first win at home against the Hawks this season and snapped a four-game losing streak against SoftBank.
Lions 8, Buffaloes 3
At Saitama’s Seibu Prince Dome, Seibu’s Shogo Akiyama went 4-for-4 with a walk, scored four runs and tied the game in the sixth with an RBI single.
Tomoya Mori followed by doubling home the go-ahead run off Orix’s Takahiro Matsuba (4-7).
Eagles 4, Fighters 3 (11)
At Sendai’s Kobo Miyagi Stadium, Tohoku Rakuten center fielder Hiroaki Shimauchi made a diving, run-saving catch to end Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s 10th inning and won the game with a sayonara single in the 11th.
Tigers 4, Dragons 2
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Hanshin’s Taiga Egoshi hit a fourth-inning solo shot and Kosuke Fukudome followed suit off Chunichi’s Raul Valdes (5-4) in the sixth behind 8⅓ strong innings from Randy Messenger (10-7), who allowed two runs in the ninth but reached 10 wins for the first time in two years.
Swallows 5, Giants 4
At Jingu Stadium, Tokyo Yakult’s Akihisa Nishida tied the game in the seventh with his second RBI of the day, and Naomichi Nishiura slugged a decisive solo shot in the eighth off Yomiuri’s Hayato Takagi (4-8), who was making his first career relief appearance.
Carp 3, BayStars 2
At Yokohama Stadium, Hiroshima’s Seiya Suzuki hit an eighth-inning solo homer to tie the game off Yokohama reliever Tomoya Mikami, and Yoshihiro Maru, who opened the scoring with an RBI single in the first, went deep in the ninth off closer Yasuaki Yamasaki (2-5).