Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Fighters' Kohei Arihara fans nine batters en route to first victory of season

Right-hander limits Buffaloes to three hits in eight innings

Kyodo

Kohei Arihara worked eight innings Saturday to pick up his first win of the season on return from a right-shoulder injury as the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters defeated the Orix Buffaloes 2-1.

In front of 17,443 at a rain-soaked Hotto Motto Field Kobe, Arihara allowed three hits while striking out nine in his 100-pitch effort.

Saturday’s game marked his return from shoulder inflammation experienced earlier in the year. After pulling out of spring training in Arizona in February, Arihara (1-0) had been practicing with the Fighters’ farm team in a bid to complete a third straight season with 10 or more wins.

“I’ve caused trouble to my team, so I wanted to win this game no matter what,” Arihara said. “The team struggled last season, so I want to deliver good results this year and be able to look back on it as a good season.”

Offensive support for the right-hander came in the top of the fourth. Kensuke Kondo drew a walk from Orix starter Yuki Nishi (0-3) and scored on Brandon Laird’s sacrifice fly to put the Fighters ahead.

Haruki Nishikawa went 2-for-5, including an RBI double in the seventh inning. Nishikawa slapped a 2-1 curveball to right to make it 2-1.

Chris Marrero’s eighth-inning solo home run was not enough for the Buffaloes.

Nishi was tagged with his third consecutive loss.

Lions 5, Eagles 1

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, Shinsaburo Tawata pitched a complete game, fanning five, walking one and allowing just four hits, leading Seibu to its third win in a row.

Marines at Hawks — ppd.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Swallows 6, Tigers 0

At Koshien Stadium, Masanori Ishikawa and the Yakult bullpen shut out the Tigers to stay within half a game of the Central League-leading BayStars.

BayStars 2, Dragons 0

At Yokohama Stadium, solo homers from Yoshitomo Tsutsugo and Jose Lopez propelled Yokohama past Chunichi.

Carp 3, Giants 2

At Tokyo Dome, Hiroshima bounced back after giving up 10 runs in its series-opening loss the previous day, with Kris Johnson pitching eight innings for the win.

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