Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Tigers hand Dragons fifth straight defeat

Kyodo

The Hanshin Tigers kept former major leaguer Daisuke Matsuzaka from earning his first win since his return to NPB in 2015 with a 2-1 victory over the Chunichi Dragons on Thursday.

In his second start for the Dragons, the 37-year-old Matsuzaka was tagged with his second loss for allowing two runs — one earned — in seven innings. He gave up four hits and walked two, while striking out two.

With the game tied 1-1 in the top of the fourth, Hanshin slugger Wilin Rosario singled to load the bases after a Matsuzaka error put a runner on first in the beginning of the inning. Tsuyoshi Nishioka scored on a grounder by Kosuke Fukudome to make it 2-1.

In front of a crowd of 26,904 at Nagoya Dome, Hanshin got on the scoreboard first after Matsuzaka led off the second by hitting Rosario with the pitch. A Fukudome single and a Kento Itohara sacrifice fly put the Tigers ahead.

The Dragons tied it up in the bottom of the inning off rookie Taiki Ono (2-0). But the 23-year-old Ono limited Chunichi to two hits and two walks, while fanning three in six innings, handing the Dragons their fifth straight loss of the season.

“I gave up a run right after my team scored, so I need to reflect on that,” he said. “I wasn’t really focused about pitching against (Matsuzaka). I concentrated on their batting lineup.”

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PACIFIC LEAGUE

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