Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Swallows’ Masanori Ishikawa tames Lions en route to 160th career win

Kyodo

Left-hander Masanori Ishikawa pitched six-plus innings Tuesday to help the Tokyo Yakult Swallows defeat the Pacific League-leading Seibu Lions 3-1 and extend their interleague lead.

In front of 17,088 at Omiya Park Baseball Stadium, Ishikawa (4-2) gave up a run on three hits and a walk in an 82-pitch effort. He struck out three en route to picking up his 160th career win since joining Yakult in 2002.

The Swallows now have a 10-2 record in interleague play, while the Lions sit in a tie for second place, trailing the leaders by three wins.

“The team is doing really good in interleague, so I just wanted to ride that momentum today,” the 38-year-old Ishikawa said. “I can’t win by myself and we won one game at a time (en route to 160).”

Wladimir Balentien singled in two runs in the third to put Yakult ahead after Seibu starter Fabio Castillo (4-4) hit two batters and walked another to load the bases.

Castillo was unable to find his command and was ejected in the next inning for hitting Swallows catcher Yuhei Nakamura in the head. Nakamura, the captain of the Central League club, had to be stretched off the field.

“Nakamura called good pitches, so all I had in mind was winning especially because he left the game like that,” Ishikawa said. “I thought we couldn’t be beat.”

Left-hander Hirotaka Koishi replaced the Dominican Castillo in the fourth, but allowed Tetsuto Yamada to double in another run.

Yuji Kaneko put the Lions in scoring position for the first time in the game with a sixth-inning double, and came home on Sosuke Genda’s sacrifice fly.

Right-hander Taichi Ishiyama earned his 10th save after striking out two in a 1-2-3 ninth.

Castillo was tagged with the loss for giving up three runs on a hit, three walks and three hit batsmen over 3-1/3 innings.

Tigers 10, Fighters 5

At Sapporo Dome, Masahiro Nakatani drove in five runs on three hits, including a fourth-inning, two-run homer and an eighth-inning, two-run single. He also had a sacrifice fly as Hanshin defeated Hokkaido Nippon Ham.

Eagles 5, Dragons 1

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, Tohoku Rakuten right-hander Yuri Furukawa (2-1) gave up three hits and six walks, but struck out eight and allowed just a run over 5-2/3 innings in a victory over Chunichi.

Hiroaki Shimauchi went 2-for-4 with three RBIs for the Eagles.

Marines 3, BayStars 0

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Ayumu Ishikawa (7-3) pitched seven strong innings and Shogo Nakamura singled in the opening run as Chiba Lotte blanked Yokohama.

Matt Dominguez and Daichi Suzuki homered for the Marines.

Buffaloes 4, Carp 1

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Andrew Albers (8-1) allowed a run on two hits and a walk over seven innings, and Koji Oshiro and Stefen Romero homered as Orix defeated CL-leading Hiroshima.

Giants 8, Hawks 2

At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Seiji Kobayashi’s three-run double in the second inning opened the scoring after the first two Yomiuri runners reached on Fukuoka SoftBank errors.