SAPPORO – Hirotoshi Takanashi worked his way out of three jams to pitch the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters to a 4-1 victory over the Orix Buffaloes on Wednesday at Sapporo Dome.
Takanashi (1-1) needed just 91 pitches to complete a six-hitter. The right-hander walked none but hit a batter, while striking out three. He pitched out of tight spots in the fourth and fifth innings and didn’t allow a run until the eighth, after his teammates had given him a 2-0 lead.
“Nashi has been pitching quite well, but hadn’t gotten a win,” catcher Yushi Shimizu said. “He came out with even more spirit than usual today.”
Orix lefty Andrew Albers (2-1) faced the minimum through the first 4⅓ innings but allowed the Fighters to take a two-run lead in the seventh.
Singles by Taishi Ota and Sho Nakata set the table for Brandon Laird, who chased Albers with a two-out RBI single. Kazumasa Yoshida walked a batter and surrendered an RBI single to Shimizu. Albers allowed two runs on four hits and a walk. He struck out four.
The Buffaloes finally got on the board after Koji Oshiro singled in the eighth and scored on Ryoichi Adachi’s sacrifice fly.
“I allowed myself to wander a bit in the eighth,” Takanashi said. “But we got runs right after that and that made things easier.” “The guys did such a great job tonight, turning some hard-hit balls into outs, and Yushi called such a great game that I felt I could go the distance tonight,” he said.
Nakata’s two-run, eighth-inning double completed the scoring and Takanashi pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to close it out.
Lions 12, Hawks 6
At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Hotaka Yamakawa homered twice and drove in seven runs as league-leading Seibu scored at least nine runs for the fifth straight game in a one-sided win over Fukuoka SoftBank.
Marines 7, Eagles 3 (10)
At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi, Takashi Ogino hit a two-run, third-inning home run and drove in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning after Chiba Lotte’s bullpen posted four straight scoreless innings to hold off Tohoku Rakuten.
Tigers 4, Swallows 2
At Matsuyama Botchan Stadium, Hanshin’s Randy Messenger (4-1) allowed a run on three hits and two walks over seven innings to outduel Tokyo Yakult’s David Huff (0-3).
Carp 11, BayStars 5
At Yokohama Stadium, Ryuhei Matsuyama went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs to help power Hiroshima’s 16-hit attack against the BayStars.
Giants 20, Dragons 4
At Gunma’s Shikishima Stadium, Yomiuri’s Hayato Sakamoto scored four runs and drove in four, while Alex Guerrero also drove in four against his former team. They each had three of the Giants’ 17 hits.
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