Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Eagles' Takayuki Kishi silences Lions

Veteran right-hander holds ex-team to three hits in seven scoreless innings

Kyodo

Takayuki Kishi mastered his former club over seven scoreless innings as the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles battered the Seibu Lions for the second straight day, beating the Pacific League leaders 9-1 on Saturday afternoon.

The 33-year-old right-hander who was the Lions’ ace before leaving for his hometown of Sendai as a free agent to join the Eagles in 2017, allowed three hits and two walks, while striking out eight.

The Eagles, currently in last place in the PL, lost eight of their first nine games this season against Seibu.

“I wanted to take it to them without giving in,” Kishi said. “The plan was to avoid allowing runners needlessly. I did issue some walks, but somehow kept them off the board.

“(Catcher Motohiro) Shima called a good game, the guys made the plays behind me, so for me it was just about executing my pitches.”

After dominating the Lions’ best starter, Yusei Kikuchi, on Friday night, Rakuten opened the scoring in the second against rookie right-hander Tatsuya Imai. Carlos Peguero followed back-to-back, one-out singles with his 16th home run. He later added an RBI single in the Eagles’ three-run seventh.

Kishi only faced one moderate scoring threat, when the Lions put two on with two outs in the sixth. The veteran, however, struck out slugger Hotaka Yamakawa on a breaking ball out of the zone to end the inning.

In front of a packed Seibu Dome, the Lions wore their uniforms they sported more than a decade ago, when Kishi joined the club. His opposite number, Imai, wore the same number Kishi had with Seibu after being the club’s top signing in 2006.

“It was nostalgic seeing that uniform with the No. 11,” Kishi said of Imai, the Lions’ top draft pick in 2016. “Young Imai also threw some good pitches. I hope he can give it his all and avoid injury.”

Fighters 5, Buffaloes 2

At Sapporo Dome, Hirotoshi Takanashi (5-4) allowed two runs in 6-1/3 innings, and Toshitake Yokoo’s three-run home run capped a five-run first inning as Hokkaido Nippon Ham beat Orix.

Marines 5, Hawks 2

At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Mike Bolsinger (10-1) allowed a run on three hits and a walk over seven innings, and Katsuya Kakunaka homered and drove in three runs as Chiba Lotte topped Fukuoka SoftBank.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

BayStars 2, Carp 1

At Yokohama Stadium, Yoshitomo Tsutsugo’s 18th home run, a two-run, sixth-inning blast, lifted Yokohama past Hiroshima in a pitchers’ duel.

BayStars rookie Katsuki Azuma (6-4) outlasted Carp veteran Yosuke Nomura (3-2).

Giants 5, Dragons 2

At Nagoya Dome, Tetsuya Utsumi (2-0) allowed two runs on two hits and a walk over six innings, and three Yomiuri relievers each worked a 1-2-3 inning in a win over Chunichi.

Tigers 15, Swallows 7

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Hanshin rookie Hiroto Saiki (2-2) threw six scoreless innings of emergency relief to earn the win after starter Yuta Iwasada was ejected for throwing a dangerous pitch with no outs in the top of the first.

Tokyo Yakult’s David Huff (1-6) was hammered for nine runs in four innings.

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