NISHINOMIYA, HYOGO PREF. – Joe Wieland threw his first shutout in Japan and scored the opening run in the Yokohama BayStars’ 7-0 win over the Hanshin Tigers on Monday.
Wieland (9-2), batting eighth as Yokohama’s pitchers have for most of the season, had the first of three one-out, third-inning singles off lefty Minoru Iwata (2-2) as the BayStars opened the scoring.
The win, before 38,112 at Koshien Stadium, pulled the third-place BayStars to within 3½ games of the second-place Tigers in the Central League standings. Each team has seven games remaining.
The second-place team will host the third-place club in the best-of-three first stage of the playoffs to determine who will advance to the second stage against the league champion Hiroshima Carp.
Wieland, pitching his first season in Japan, walked just one batter, while striking out four in an efficient 102-pitch outing. It came on the heels of seven scoreless innings from lefty Shota Imanaga in Sunday’s shutout win over the Tigers.
“It’s great. The team was awesome,” Wieland said. “I just wanted to pick up from what Imanaga did yesterday. He did a great job and I just wanted to do the same.
“I got ahead to count, early outs, and when I got guys on base, I made quality pitches, I got a double play. I didn’t put myself in trouble so I think that was the biggest thing.”
Iwata, too, threw 102 pitches, leaving after the BayStars tacked on two more runs in the sixth inning on a two-run triple by back-up catcher Hiroki Minei.
Hanshin’s bullpen let the game get away in the late innings on an eighth-inning solo home run by Toshiro Miyazaki and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo’s 25th homer, a three-run shot, in the ninth.
Giants 6, Swallows 5
At Jingu Stadium, Yoshiyuki Kamei hit a game-tying home run, Scott Mathieson (4-4) pitched two scoreless innings of relief, and Casey McGehee’s second RBI single broke a 5-5 tie in the eighth as Yomiuri overcame a 5-0 deficit to beat Tokyo Yakult. The win kept the fourth-place Giants 1½ games behind the third-place BayStars with five games left to play.
Eagles 10, Hawks 2
At Yafuoku Dome, Manabu Mima (11-6) allowed five hits and no walks over seven scoreless innings to reach a career high in wins, while Zelous Wheeler hit his 30th home run, a three-run shot as Tohoku Rakuten blew out league champion Fukuoka SoftBank.