Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Starter Taisuke Yamaoka guides Buffaloes past punchless Eagles for first victory of season

Orix rookie Yuma Tongu delivers RBI single in fourth to put his team ahead


Taisuke Yamaoka worked eight innings and rookie Yuma Tongu broke up a scoreless game with a fourth-inning RBI single as the Orix Buffaloes held on to beat the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 2-0 on Friday for their first win of the season.

Yamaoka (1-0) yielded three hits and four walks to keep the Eagles scoreless before turning the game over to closer Hirotoshi Masui in the ninth at Kyocera Dome.

“Those walks are something I need to correct. I was able to pitch carefully (with runners in scoring position),” Yamaoka said.

Eagles starter Tomohiro Anraku survived a first-inning jam, and didn’t allow another runner until rookie Hayato Nishiura opened the fourth with a single. An error and a hit batsman loaded the bases for Tongu, the Buffaloes’ second pick in last autumn’s draft.

“I’ve not been contributing to any runs for several games, and I wanted to do something to make Yamaoka’s job easier,” Tongu said. “It hasn’t been a great start for me. I haven’t been contributing a lot on defense, but at least I could do something with my bat.”

Anraku (0-1) allowed two runs — one earned — on three hits and two walks over seven innings.

The Eagles’ loss was their first since Opening Day the previous Friday.

Fighters 5, Lions 2

At Tokyo Dome, Naoyuki Uwasawa (1-0) allowed a run in seven innings to lead Hokkaido Nippon Ham past Seibu.

Marines 7, Hawks 3 (10)

At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Katsuya Kakunaka homered off rookie Masato Okumura in the 10th inning as Chiba Lotte downed Fukuoka SoftBank.


Giants 3, BayStars 2

At Yokohama Stadium, Tomoyuki Sugano (1-1) scattered six hits over the distance and Alex Guerrero broke a 2-2 tie with a home run as Yomiuri ran off its sixth straight win.

Tigers 3, Carp 2

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Masahiro Nakatani’s seventh-inning, two-run, pinch-hit home run lifted Hanshin over the hosts.

Swallows 8, Dragons 7

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Naomichi Nishiura scored twice and drove in three runs, including two in the eighth, as Tokyo Yakult rallied past Chunichi.