SENDAI – Tohoku Rakuten’s Takahiro Norimoto renewed his own record by striking out 10 or more batters in eight straight games in the Eagles’ 8-2 victory over the Yokohama BayStars in interleague play on Thursday.
Norimoto (8-1) went the distance, giving up two runs on seven hits and a walk while fanning 12 of the 35 batters he faced in his 117-pitch outing at Kobo Park Miyagi. He chalked up his 10th strikeout by fanning Yokohama cleanup hitter Yoshitomo Tsutsugo in the eighth inning.
“The stands started getting a bit noisy around the sixth inning and the atmosphere became strange, but I think the record was set because (catcher Motohiro) Shima-san led me well and I was able to throw where he wanted me to,” Norimoto said.
He added: “I really wanted to get the 10th strikeout from Tsutsugo (because) he’s a wonderful batter who is the cleanup (hitter) of the Japanese national team and he had three hits so I wanted to get back at him.
A week ago, Norimoto, who led the Pacific League in strikeouts over the last three seasons, surpassed Hall of Famer Hideo Nomo’s NPB record set in 1991 by getting double-digit strikeouts in seven consecutive games.
For Rakuten, Eigoro Mogi opened with a solo homer in the first and added a two-run shot in the fourth. Teammate Carlos Peguero went deep in the third inning, helping the Eagles halt their three-game losing streak.
Yokohama managed just two runs — Tsutsugo’s RBI single in the sixth and Takayuki Kajitani’s solo shot two innings later — as it saw its winning streak stopped at three.
Carp 5, Fighters 3
At Sapporo Dome, Seiya Suzuki belted a two-run home run in the first and Yoshihiro Maru hit a two-run double in the fifth to pace Hiroshima to its fifth straight win by defeating Hokkaido Nippon Ham,
The Fighters lost their fifth consecutive game.
Tigers 3, Buffaloes 2
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Masahiro Nakatani hit an RBI single in the fifth to break a 1-1 tie and Kosuke Fukudome drove in a run an inning later as Hanshin edged Orix.
The Buffaloes have lost two of their nine interleague games.
Marines 9, Dragons 5
At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Daichi Suzuki, Matt Duffy and Ryo Miki all hit bases-loaded RBI singles in the fifth to lift Chiba Lotte over Chunichi and snap its four-game losing skid.
Hawks 15, Swallows 0
At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Fukuoka SoftBank pounded out a season-high 20 hits, including five home runs, as it blanked Yakult.
The Swallows suffered their eighth defeat in a row for the first time in two years.
Lions 13, Giants 2
At Tokorozawa’s MetLife Dome, Takumi Kuriyama opened with an RBI hit in the first and Shuta Tonosaki hit a grand slam to cap a six-run third as Seibu won its sixth straight game while Yomiuri extended the franchise-worst losing record to 13 games in a row.
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