FUKUOKA – Rookie Shuta Ishikawa allowed three hits over seven innings and the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks left just two runners on base in a 9-0 whipping of the Seibu Lions on Wednesday.
Ishikawa (5-3) allowed three hits and walked two, while striking out seven to earn his first win since July 4. Shunsuke Kasaya worked the final two innings in his professional debut, walking one and striking out three to complete SoftBank’s second straight shutout of Seibu.
“I got a lot of runs early, so it was easy to settle into a rhythm early on,” said Ishikawa, who got a lot of mileage out of his fastball and his big curve. “My results have not been very good lately, so I was going to give it all I had today.
“I always think I am going to contribute to the team when I pitch, and tonight I did.”
The Hawks, who lead the Pacific League by 7½ games over the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, have now won seven straight.
Yuki Yanagita plated Akira Nakamura with his 29th home run, a two-out, first-inning shot off Lions right-hander Yosuke Okamoto (6-1).
Yanagita put a beautiful swing on a low-inside, 2-0 breaking ball and drove it well past the wall in right to pull into a tie with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters’ Brandon Laird for the league home run lead.
The Hawks tacked on four more in the second and Nobuhiro Matsuda’s 21st homer, a three-run shot in the fifth, completed the scoreline and chased Okamoto.
Okamoto worked 4⅓ innings, allowing all nine runs on eight hits and three walks. Three Lions relievers retired the last 14 Hawks hitters in an impressive, but futile, showing.
Fighters 3, Buffaloes 2
At Kobe’s Hotto Motto Field, Haruki Nishikawa homered and singled in the tying run in the fifth inning as Hokkaido Nippon Ham came from behind to beat Orix.
Marines 5, Eagles 3
At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Jason Standridge (4-6) twice left the bases loaded to allow just two runs in six innings, and Katsuya Kakunaka doubled twice in four at-bats with three RBIs in Lotte’s win over Rakuten.
Dragons 4, Giants 1
At Nagoya Dome, Yudai Ono (5-6) allowed a run on six hits over seven innings and Alex Guerrero hit a two-run, first-inning home run, his CL-leading 31st as Chunichi held off Yomiuri.
Tigers 7, Swallows 4
At Jingu Stadium, Kosuke Fukudome’s three-run, third-inning homer broke a 1-1 tie as Hanshin came from behind to beat Tokyo Yakult with Rafael Dolis earning his 30th save.
BayStars 7, Carp 6 (10)
At Yokohama Stadium, Takayuki Kajitani’s 10th-inning double plated Yasutaka Tobashira from first with the winning run as Yokohama beat Hiroshima in its final at-bat for the second straight night.
As he had on Tuesday, Jose Lopez tied it for the BayStars with a ninth-inning home run.