Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Eagles' Takahiro Shiomi tosses first complete-game victory in six years

Tohoku Rakuten extends winning streak to four in rout of Seibu

Kyodo

Takahiro Shiomi and the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles continued their strong runs on Friday in a 7-2 Pacific League win over the Seibu Lions.

Pitching in his sixth game of the season, the 29-year-old Shiomi (2-1), allowed two runs on seven hits. He struck out seven without issuing a walk.

Shiomi, who recorded his first complete-game victory in six seasons, has now allowed four runs over his last three starts, a span of 24 innings — all against the Lions. The win was the fourth straight for the last-place Eagles.

“Every inning I was able to make it work by locating the ball well, and keeping it down. They’re the league leaders so I’m happy about this,” said Shiomi after allowing two runs in the ninth inning. “I did want a shutout.

“I don’t know why, but my old velocity seemed to be back.”

Shiomi made things hard on the Lions’ hitters by mixing his fastball with a slow curve and survived a scare after he was hit in the fourth inning in the left arm by a batted ball.

Toshiaki Imae broke the ice in a scoreless pitchers’ duel with a fifth-inning leadoff home run, and former Lion Naoto Watanabe delivered a three-run triple that capped the Eagles’ four-run sixth and iced the game against Yusei Kikuchi (8-2) at MetLife Dome.

Kikuchi gave up six runs on seven hits and four walks, while striking out five over six innings. It was the lefty’s second loss this season to Rakuten.

Lions center fielder Shingo Akiyama tied a Pacific League record when he finished the game, having played every inning of 535 consecutive games. He moved into a tie with former Lotte first baseman Takeshi Aiko. Current Hanshin Tigers manager Tomoaki Kanemoto set NPB’s record by playing 1,492 full games.

Fighters 6, Hawks 5

tied it up at 1-1