SENDAI – Takahiro Norimoto threw a five-hit shutout and Japhet Amador hit a first-inning grand slam as the Pacific League-leading Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles defeated the Chiba Lotte Marines 5-0 on Wednesday.
Norimoto (4-1) earned his third straight win after striking out 12, reaching double-digits for a club-record fourth consecutive game in his 100-pitch outing. He let a runner reach second base just once, when Takashi Ogino hit a leadoff double in the first inning.
Lotte starter Jason Standridge (1-3) surrendered a single to Carlos Peguero, a hit batsman and a walk to load the bases with two outs in the bottom half before Amador went deep to left at Kobo Park Miyagi.
“I was at full throttle from the beginning and Amador’s home run let me pitch at ease,” said Norimoto, who issued one walk in his first shutout in two years. “I was doing well from practice today so I tried to give all I had from the first inning and that led to the shutout.
“My breaking balls were good, too. I think I can give a full mark for my effort. I was attacking batters and getting ahead in the count, which I believe helped me (achieve the club record for strikeouts).”
Standridge remained volatile in the second inning as the right-hander hit another batter with one out. An Eigoro Mogi single put runners on the corners before Peguero plated the fifth run with a groundout.
The early runs cost Standridge and Lotte dearly as he went on to blank Rakuten over the next five innings. He allowed four hits, a walk and two hit batsman over seven innings in a 102-pitch effort.
Fighters 2, Lions 1
At Sapporo Dome, Hokkaido Nippon Ham came from behind as Brandon Laird tied the game with an RBI single in the first off Seibu’s Ken Togame (0-2) and plated the decisive second run with a single in the third inning.
Takayuki Kato (3-1) held the Lions to a run over six-plus innings.
Hawks 3, Buffaloes 2 (10)
At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, SoftBank’s Kenta Imamiya tied the game at 2-2 with an RBI single in the fifth before driving in the walk-off run with another in the 10th.
Giants 9, Tigers 7
At Tokyo Dome, Hayato Sakamoto went 3-for-4 with two homers for four RBIs as Yomiuri hit five home run to halt CL-leading Hanshin’s six-game winning streak.
BayStars 3, Dragons 1
At Nagoya Dome, Kentaro Taira (1-0) held Chunichi to a run over five innings for Yokohama.
Toshihiko Kuramoto singled in two runs with the bases loaded in the fourth off Shinnosuke Ogasawara (0-1) before Yoshitomo Tsutsugo went deep for the third time this season in the fifth.
Carp 8, Swallows 7
At Jingu Stadium, Hiroshima snapped its four-game losing skid as Seiya Suzuki, who went 3-for-4 with five RBIs, restored the lead with a two-run shot off Tokyo Yakult’s Josh Lueke (1-3) for his second homer of the night.