Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Buffaloes ace Chihiro Kaneko picks up first victory of season

Kyodo

Orix ace Chihiro Kaneko allowed a run over six innings Wednesday, winning his first game of the season in a 5-2 victory over the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles.

Kaneko (1-4), the Sawamura Award and Pacific League MVP from 2014, allowed an unearned run on two hits and two walks. He struck out six.

Buffaloes leadoff man Yuki Miyazaki helped stake Kaneko to a 2-0, fifth-inning lead before the right-hander had even allowed a hit. Miyazaki opened the first against Manabu Mima (0-5) with a double, was sacrificed to third and scored on an error.

He added a solo homer, his first of the season, in the top of the fifth to make the score 2-0.

The Eagles got back into the game in the bottom of the fifth with the help of two Buffaloes errors.

A throwing error allowed Zelous Wheeler to reach with one out. After a Yasuhito Uchida single and a force at third, Uchida scored from second when a routine grounder got past shortstop Ryoichi Adachi.

The sloppy play continued in the top of the seventh, when Orix made it 3-1 on a passed ball by catcher Toru Hosokawa.

In the bottom of the inning, however, Uchida hit his fourth homer of the season to pull the hosts to within a run.

Shuhei Fukuda’s RBI single drove in an insurance run in the ninth against reliever Yuki Matsui. With veteran catcher Motohiro Shima in the game for Hosokawa, Koji Oshiro motored all the way home from second on a wild pitch to complete the scoring.

Mima (0-5) allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits and a walk over six innings. The right-hander struck out three.

Lions 2, Hawks 1

At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Ken Togame (3-5) twice pitched out of one-out, bases-loaded jams to allow just one run in six innings in Seibu’s win over SoftBank.

Shogo Akiyama tied it with a fifth-inning home run, and Shuta Tonosaki doubled and scored the winning run in the sixth on Masatoshi Okada’s two-out single.

Fighters 2, Marines 0 (8)

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s Naoyuki Uwasawa (5-1) threw his second straight shutout, holding Lotte to five hits and a walk.

Sho Nakata doubled in a first-inning run for the Fighters, and Brandon Laird homered.

The game was called after the bottom of the eighth due to rain.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Carp 9, Giants 3

At Ibaraki’s Hitachinaka Stadium, Akitake Okada (5-1) allowed three runs in seven innings, while Kosuke Tanaka and Takahiro Arai had big nights at the plate as Hiroshima clobbered Yomiuri.

Tanaka went 3-for-5 with two homers and three RBIs, while the 41-year-old Arai hit a three-run homer in the first inning and a two-run double in the fourth.

Dragons at BayStars

Swallows at Tigers