KUMAMOTO – Kodai Senga allowed a run over seven innings to win his fifth straight start as the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks exploited their opponent’s mistakes in a 2-1 win over the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters on Saturday.
Trailing 1-0 in the fifth inning, Go Kamamoto reached on a leadoff infield single against right-hander Naoyuki Uwasawa (3-2). After a sacrifice, Kenta Imamiya singled to left. Left fielder Kensuke Kondo’s throw held the runner at third, but it got past catcher Yushi Shimizu.
Uwasawa backed up the play and would have had a play at the plate had Shimizu not chased after the ball as well. A wild pitch put Imamiya on third, from where he scored on an Alfredo Despaigne sacrifice fly.
Senga (5-0) surrendered the lead in the fourth, when Kondo doubled and scored on a Wang Po-jung single. The right-hander struck out nine but gave up four hits and walked five on a rainy day at Kumamoto Fujisakidai Stadium.
“I had to keep my focus on the game or else it would get away from me,” said Senga of the conditions at the park where six years earlier he earned his first victory. “Whenever I come here and see these surroundings, I remember and my legs begin to shake.”
Lefty Livan Moinelo worked a scoreless eighth, and closer Yuito Mori pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 11th save.
Uwasawa allowed seven hits and two walks, while striking out five over seven innings.
Eagles 6, Marines 4
At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, a throwing error opened the door to a four-run eighth inning as Tohoku Rakuten rallied past Chiba Lotte reliever Yuki Karakawa (2-3).
Buffaloes 2, Lions 1
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Kohei “K” Suzuki allowed one run over 5-2/3 innings and Orix’s bullpen was flawless in a victory over Seibu.
The Buffaloes scored both of their runs on an error.
Giants 5, Dragons 1
At Nagoya Dome, Cristopher Mercedes (4-2) worked seven scoreless innings and Alex Guerrero hit a two-run homer against his former team as Yomiuri beat Chunichi.
Carp 4, Tigers 0
At Koshien Stadium, Kris Johnson (3-3) threw six scoreless innings and Hiroshima’s Ryoma Nishikawa belted a three-run homer off Hanshin starter Randy Messenger (2-4) in the first.
BayStars 11, Swallows 6
At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Yokohama’s top draft pick last fall, Taiga Kamichatani (1-3), allowed three runs over 5-2/3 innings to earn the win over Tokyo Yakult in a slugfest.