Kohei Arihara was impressive over seven innings and Haruki Nishikawa drove in four runs to lead the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters to a 10-1 victory over the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks at Tokyo Dome on Monday.
Arihara (5-2) allowed five hits and hit a batter, while striking out six over seven innings. The only run he allowed came when Seiichi Uchikawa homered to lead off the bottom of the seventh.
It was Arihara’s first starting assignment since May 27. After allowing 13 runs over his previous two starts, he pitched four times in relief.
“First and foremost, I went to the mound wanting to win the game, so I was throwing going all out from the first inning,” Arihara said.
“As a reliever, I learned what a tough job they have, and how hard it is to come into the game partway through.”
The Fighters tattooed Hawks starter Shuta Ishikawa (7-5) for five runs, four earned, over 4⅓ innings, with Nishikawa getting things started in the first inning.
Ishikawa hit the game’s first batter, and Nishikawa followed with his sixth home run of the season. Nishikawa put another run on the board after he led off the third inning with an infield single.
With one out, Nishikawa stole second and kept going to third when catcher Takuya Kai threw the ball into shallow center field. Nishikawa then scored on Sho Nakata’s sacrifice fly. Nishikawa singled again to load the bases with two outs in the fourth, but Ishikawa kept the Fighters from adding to the score.
Brandon Laird’s two-run homer highlighted the Fighters’ three-run fifth, and Nishikawa added an RBI double in the eighth and RBI single in the visitors’ three-run ninth.
The win improved Arihara’s record at Tokyo Dome, where the Fighters play a number of home games every year, to 5-1 in six career games.
The loss pushed the defending Japan Series champion Hawks three games behind the second-place Fighters.
Lions 11, Marines 5
At Tokorozawa’s MetLife Dome, Takumi Kuriyama hit a third-inning, game-tying three-run double, and Tomoya Mori’s three-run home run capped a four-run sixth inning as PL-leading Seibu beat Chiba Lotte.
Giants 8, Swallows 5
BayStars 5, Dragons 4
Tigers at Carp — ppd.