OSAKA – Oswaldo Arcia belted a three-run homer and Kohei Arihara went the distance as the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters defeated the Orix Buffaloes 4-1 on Monday.
With both leagues returning to action after this year’s All-Star Series, Arcia took Orix starter Yuki Nishi (5-8) deep in the first inning. Nishi retired the first two batters he faced, but an infield single and a walk set the table for Arcia.
The Venezuelan slugger teed off on a high, straight 1-1 fastball and launched it into Kyocera Dome’s second deck for his ninth home run of the year.
Arihara (6-2) allowed an unearned run on five hits and two walks. He struck out three in his 121-pitch effort, retiring slugger Chris Marrero with two outs and two on in the ninth to seal the victory.
“Because I was a burden to the team in the first half, I came out today hoping to pitch in a way to make up for that,” said Arihara, who entered the game with a 5.71 ERA that had resulted in him getting banished to the bullpen for a month.
In his return to the starting rotation a week earlier, the right-hander allowed a run over seven innings in a win against the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. It was his first complete-game win of the season.
“I got this result because catcher (Ryo) Ishikawa called a great game and the guys made the plays behind me,” Arihara said.
Ishikawa doubled in a run with two outs in the fourth inning, while the Buffaloes scored an unearned run in the sixth.
With a runner on first and one out, a grounder got through second baseman Ryo Watanabe’s legs. Right fielder Hiromi Oka tried to get the runner headed to third, but third baseman Brandon Laird failed to come up with the short-hopped throw and the runner scored.
Nishi worked seven innings and was charged with all four runs. He gave up seven hits and a walk, while striking out two.
Eagles 3, Marines 2 (10)
At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Hiroaki Shimauchi singled home Takumi Miyoshi with the go-ahead run in the 10th as Tohoku Rakuten edged Chiba Lotte.
Shintaro Masuda’s ninth-inning home run tied it at 2-2 and Eagles second baseman Kazuya Fujita made a game-saving catch in the bottom of the ninth.
Hawks 16, Lions 4
At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, seven players hit a team-record eight home runs for Fukuoka SoftBank in a 21-hit demolition of league-leading Seibu.
Lions starter Shinsaburo Tawata (9-4) allowed 11 runs in 3-1/3 innings.
Swallows 5, BayStars 2
At Yokohama Stadium, four Yokohama relievers held Tokyo Yakult scoreless until the visitors exploded for five runs in the ninth against All-Star closer Yasuaki Yamasaki (2-3).
Tetsuto Yamada doubled in the tying run, while Ryota Yachi’s RBI single made it a 3-1 game and Yuhei Nakamura’s two-run double iced it as the Swallows snapped an eight-game losing streak.
Giants 4, Tigers 3
At Koshien Stadium, Tetsuya Utsumi (3-1) allowed a run in six innings, and Yomiuri took the lead on Casey McGehee’s two-run, fifth-inning single.
Yoshiyuki Kamei’s two-run, eighth-inning home run allowed the visitors to survive Hanshin’s late rally.
Carp 5, Dragons 1
At Nagoya Dome, Kris Johnson (6-2) won his third straight decision after allowing a run over seven innings and striking out eight as league-leading Hiroshima beat Chunichi.