SENDAI – The Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles snapped a three-game losing streak Sunday, beating the league-leading Seibu Lions 12-6 on the back of an eight-run first inning.
The Eagles’ lineup cost starter Brian Wolfe (1-1) seven hits and eight runs, seven of them earned, in ⅓ of an inning at Rakuten Seimei Park, while tight fielding and three strike outs helped right-handed rookie Takahide Ikeda (1-2) earn his first win.
Wolfe struggled through a full rotation of the home lineup after leadoff batter Hiroaki Shimauchi grounded out in the bottom of the inning for the righty’s only out.
After Zelous Wheeler was hit by a pitch to load the bases, a wild pitch brought Eigoro Mogi home for the opening run. Ginji Akaminai beamed a two-run RBI single to center, and designated hitter Japhet Amador hit another RBI single to right for 4-0.
Wolfe gave up a three-run homer to left fielder Takero Okajima, and the former major leaguer left the game to reliever Hirotaka Koishi after two more singles.
After two hits in the third, Carlos Peguero cranked an RBI single in his third at-bat but a double play ended the streak. Righty Hayato Takagi took the mound in the fourth, but Amador’s two-run homer made it 11-0.
Center fielder Shogo Akiyama led off the fifth for the Lions with a solo homer. Sosuke Genda’s sacrifice fly and Hotaka Yamakawa’s three-run homer in the seventh closed the gap to 11-5 and saw Ikeda pulled out after giving up 11 hits and two walks in 6⅓ innings.
Akaminai hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth to bring in Mogi who drew a walk, and southpaw closer Yuki Matsui fanned two in the ninth to secure the win despite a late Yamakawa RBI.
The Lions, who won their three previous games, lead the Pacific League with 11 wins and three losses, while the Eagles remain in last place at 4-10.
Hawks 7, Marines 6
At Kamoike Stadium, two runs in the eighth and Yuki Yanagita’s two-run homer in the ninth earned Fukuoka SoftBank a narrow win as the Hawks edged Chiba Lotte out of second place in the Pacific League.
Buffaloes 7, Fighters 0
At Hotto Motto Field Kobe, Taisuke Yamaoka (1-2) fanned five and allowed four hits and two walks in six innings to lead Orix in a shutout of Hokkaido Nippon Ham. Kenya Wakatsuki opened the scoring with a second-inning RBI to put the Buffaloes on the board.
Carp 5, Giants 4
At Tokyo Dome, a three-run seventh kicked off by Ryosuke Kikuchi’s solo homer was enough to cancel out a late two-run RBI from Hayato Sakamoto as Hiroshima beat Yomiuri.
BayStars 6, Dragons 1
At Yokohama Stadium, BayStars right-handed rookie Masaya Kyoyama (3-0) fanned six while allowing three hits and a run, and seventh-inning RBIs from Yoshitomo Tsutsugo and Jose Lopez sealed a 6-1 series win against Chunichi. The BayStars lead the Central League after eight straight wins.
Tigers 8, Swallows 3
At Koshien Stadium, Yuta Iwasada fanned five and gave up a run over six innings to earn his first win of the season, as Yoshio Itoi’s fourth-inning, two-run homer and seventh-inning, two-run RBI double kept Hanshin ahead of Tokyo Yakult.