Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Marines starter Hideaki Wakui tosses two-hit shutout for first victory of season

Kyodo

Hideaki Wakui pitched a two-hit shutout and picked up his first win of the season Tuesday as the Chiba Lotte Marines beat the Pacific League-leading Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks 6-0.

Wakui (1-1) struck out seven without issuing a single walk at Zozo Marine Stadium to help the Marines snap a four-game losing streak.

“When I took the mound in the ninth, the fans cheered for me very loudly so I thought I could do this. It’s amazing,” said Wakui, who was making his third start of the season.

“We had a losing streak, so I wanted to help the club pick up momentum. My next game is also in Chiba, so I want to pitch nine innings again.”

In the third, Brandon Laird blasted a grand slam against right-hander Nao Higashihama (1-1). Higashihama loaded the bases with a single and two straight walks before Laird blasted his eighth homer of the season to the left-field stands.

Kennys Vargas singled in a run to open the scoring in the second, and Katsuya Kakunaka added an insurance run on a sixth-inning homer.

Higashihama surrendered all six runs on six hits and three walks. He fanned five of the 25 batters he faced over six innings.

Buffaloes 9, Fighters 0

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Andrew Albers (1-1) and three relievers combined on a five-hitter as Orix whipped Hokkaido Nippon Ham.

Stefen Romero drove in four runs, while Masataka Yoshida knocked in three.

Eagles 5, Lions 4 (10)

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, Wheeler’s 10th-inning sacrifice fly lifted Tohoku Rakuten to a walk-off win over Seibu.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Giants 8, Carp 2

At Kagoshima’s Kamoike Stadium, Yomiuri led 4-0 after two innings and two runs apiece in the sixth and seven frames in a rout of Hiroshima.

Dragons 7, BayStars 1

At Nagoya Dome, left-hander Yudai Ono threw 6-2/3 innings and picked up his first win since 2017 as Chunichi pounded Yokohama.

Swallows 9, Tigers 5

At Matsuyama’s Botchan Stadium, Tokyo Yakult scored five runs in the first inning, including a Munetaka Murakami homer to right-center, in a victory over Hanshin, extending its winning streak to three games.