TOKOROZWA, SAITAMA PREF. – Brian Wolfe worked seven efficient innings for the Seibu Lions, who beat the Chiba Lotte Marines 2-1 in the Pacific League on Sunday afternoon.
Wolfe (4-0) threw just 69 pitches before leaving the mound having allowed just two singles. The 36-year-old former Toronto Blue Jays reliever is now 8-0 in nine starts with the Lions, whom he joined last summer.
“It’s good to get groundballs quick,” said Wolfe, who struck out only two, but got 13 batters to ground out in a game that lasted 2 hours and 10 minutes at MetLife Dome. “We had a good game plan. We attacked the zone today, got ground balls and the defense made great plays. It’s great to pitch here with all the fans.
“We’ve played well when I pitch. I can’t explain it (the eight wins).”
The right-hander won 35 games over his first four seasons in Nippon Professional Baseball with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, before injuries put a damper on his career. . In 2014, his first year with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, Wolfe had elbow surgery. He went 4-3 in 10 games during his two years in Fukuoka.
The Lions opened the scoring against Yuki Karakawa (1-4) in the third. With two out and none on, Shogo Akiyama hit his fifth homer of the year, before three straight singles made it 2-0.
Brian Schlitter worked a perfect eighth for the Lions, while closer Tatsushi Masuda overcame a one-out Kei Hosoya home run to seal the win as Seibu snapped a four-game losing streak.
Eagles 2, Fighters 1
At Sapporo Dome, Tohoku Rakuten’s Takero Okajima went 3-for-4 in his club’s victory. He singled to open the ninth and scored the go-ahead run from second on a one-out throwing error by Hokkaido Nippon Ham second baseman Susumu Orui.
Hawks 2, Buffaloes 1
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Fukuoka SoftBank’s Nobuhiro Matsuda hit his first home run of the year to tie it in the seventh, and Alfredo Despaigne went deep off Orix closer Yoshihisa Hirano (1-2) in the ninth.
Tigers 3, Dragons 2
At Nishinomiya’s Koshien Stadium, Kosuke Fukudome’s two-run, third-inning single tied it and Fumiya Hojo plated the go-ahead run in the eighth with a single off Chunichi reliever Daisuke Sobue (1-1).
BayStars 10, Carp 9
At Yokohama Stadium, Jose Lopez hit an RBI double in the first before blasting a grand slam in the third off Hiroshima’s Allen Kuri (2-2) as Yokohama jumped out to a 7-0 lead.
The Carp outhit the BayStars 16-13, and Seiya Suzuki had his third home run in two days with a two-run shot in the ninth, but Shota Dobayashi struck out with the bases loaded to end it.
Swallows 3, Giants 2
At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Tokyo Yakult won a pitchers’ duel decided by Tomotaka Sakaguchi’s seventh-inning RBI infield single.
The two starters, Swallows rookie Tomoya Hoshi and Yomiuri lefty Tetsuya Utsumi, each allowed two runs in six innings.