NAGOYA – 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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