• 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.”

BayStars 5, Giants 0

At Yokohama Stadium, Hiroki Minei went 2-for-4 and drove in three runs, while Katsuki Azuma allowed four hits and two walks, while striking out six in 7-1/3 innings in Yokohama’s shutout win over Yomiuri.

Carp 5, Swallows 4 (12)


Buffaloes 3, Marines 0

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Kenya Wakatsuki hit a second-inning, two-run double and Eiichi Koyano added another run with his sixth-inning single as Orix beat Chiba Lotte.

Rookie Daiki Tajima (2-1) allowed two hits in seven innings in his third pro game.

Eagles 3, Hawks 1

At Yafuoku Dome, Japhet Amador and Ginji Akaminai each hit solo home runs to lift Rakuten over SoftBank.

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