Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Eagles ace Takahiro Norimoto hurls one-hit shutout

Kyodo

Takahiro Norimoto pitched a one-hitter in his first shutout of the season in the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles’ 2-0 win over the Orix Buffaloes on Saturday.

Four-time PL strikeout king Norimoto (3-3) fanned nine in his seventh start of the season. He was tagged with losses in his last two starts, but worked six 1-2-3 innings for the win in front of a crowd of 21,524 at Kyocera Dome.

“I threw terribly in my last two games, so I wanted to get the team a win with my pitching this time,” Norimoto said. “We can’t take back what happened in the past, so I’ll keep facing what’s in front of me.”

Former big leaguer Carlos Peguero hit back-to-back solo homers for the only runs of the game. The Dominican blasted a second-inning shot off right-hander Taisuke Yamaoka (2-4) before leading off the fourth with his ninth home run of the season.

Despite its second straight win over the Buffaloes in the three-game series, Rakuten remains at the bottom of the six-team PL standings with 10 wins, 23 losses and one tie.

“We are in a difficult situation this season, but I’m really glad I contributed by homering twice when we are trying to find our rhythm,” Peguero said.

“All I had in mind was winning. Norimoto’s pitches were amazing, and I think he contributed to the win more than I did.”

Norimoto gave up his only hit with no outs in the fifth to Masataka Yoshida, but the right-hander retired the next three batters to close the inning.

Yamaoka gave up six hits and four walks, while striking out eight over six innings.

Marines 11, Lions 2

At Tokorozawa’s MetLife Dome, Daichi Suzuki opened the scoring with a second-inning RBI single and Shohei Kato went 4-for-5 with 4 RBIs as Chiba Lotte defeated PL-leading Seibu for the second straight game.

Fighters 5, Hawks 3

At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Takuya Nakashima blasted his first home run of the season, a second-inning grand slam, as Hokkaido Nippon Ham rallied to beat Fukuoka SoftBank.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Carp 6, Tigers 1

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Daichi Osera (5-2) doubled in two runs to open the scoring and pitched seven innings in Hiroshima’s win over Hanshin.

Taiki Ono (3-1) was tagged with the loss for allowing four runs on seven hits and three walks, while striking out seven, in six-plus innings.

Swallows 6, BayStars 5 (11)

At Yokohama Stadium, former major leaguer Norichika Aoki put Tokyo Yakult ahead with his first-inning RBI single and drew a walk in the 11th to break a 5-5 tie as the Swallows defeated Yokohama.

Dragons 6, Giants 0

At Tokyo Dome, Chunichi’s Onelki Garcia (4-1) struck out five, gave up six hits and walked one on his way to shutting out Yomiuri.

Nobumasa Fukuda, Dayan Viciedo and Zoilo Almonte homered for the Dragons.