Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Giants’ Cristopher Mercedes earns complete-game victory over rival BayStars

Kyodo

Cristopher Mercedes allowed his first runs but remained unbeaten in four starts for the Yomiuri Giants on Thursday, when he threw a three-hitter in a 3-2 win over the Yokohama BayStars.

The 24-year-old lefty struck out four and walked one while pitching a complete game. Casey McGehee, Hisayoshi Chono and Yoshiyuki Kamei each drove in a run against BayStars starter Joe Wieland (4-7), giving Mercedes a 3-0 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth at Yokohama Stadium.

“In my heart, the plan was the same as always, to keep the ball down. I was able to do that and change speeds and this was the result,” Mercedes said. “I’ve been working hard all the time, and I’m happy to get these results.”

Yokohama, however, snapped Mercedes’ scoreless-innings streak at 26. Tatsuhiro Shibata singled with one out for the BayStars’ first hit, and Masayuki Kuwahara hit his seventh home run to make it a one-run game.

“I spent all of last year on the farm, and I have been able to polish my control, which had been a big issue for me,” Mercedes said. “But I’ve improved little by little by practicing every day, and now I’ve reached the point where I can contribute.”

Mercedes, who joined the Giants on a developmental contract, was added to the club’s 70-man roster on July 9.

Wieland allowed three runs on eight hits and two walks, while striking out seven, but it was not enough to keep the visiting Giants from completing a three-game sweep.

Swallows 10, Carp 4

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Juri Hara (2-6) allowed one run over seven innings to earn his first win this season as a starter.

Wladimir Balentien’s league-leading 26th home run capped a four-run first inning as Tokyo Yakult overpowered Hiroshima to salvage one win from their three-game series.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Lions 10, Hawks 2

At Tokorozawa’s MetLife Dome, Tatsuya Imai (2-2) allowed two runs (one earned) over seven innings, and Shuta Tonosaki helped ignite Seibu’s seven-run second inning with a two-run homer off Fukuoka SoftBank’s Shuta Ishikawa (8-6).

Eagles 3, Buffaloes 2

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Tohoku Rakuten rallied from a run down in the ninth as rookie Kazuki Tanaka tied it 2-2 with a two-out triple, and scored the go-ahead run on Eigoro Mogi’s single as the Eagles completed a three-game sweep.

Orix closer Hirotoshi Masui (1-3) has lost three of the last four games he’s appeared in.