YOKOHAMA – Shota Imanaga struck out 11 over seven scoreless innings and Neftali Soto hit his 15th home run and the Yokohama BayStars held off the Tokyo Yakult Swallows 3-2 in the Central League on Friday.
The loss was the Swallows’ 15th straight, one shy of the CL record 16 in a row the team, then known as the Yakult Atoms, lost in 1970. The NPB record is 18, set by the Pacific League’s Chiba Lotte Marines in 1998.
Imanaga (6-2) gave up three hits and three walks. He left the game after throwing 122 pitches. His teammates made it 3-0 in the bottom of the seventh on a Tatsuhiro Shibata RBI triple and a Hikaru Ito RBI double.
Soto put the BayStars in front when Swallows starter David Buchanan (1-2) hung a 2-2 changeup that the right-handed-hitting slugger swatted out to right.
“I’m glad I could give us the lead, especially since our pitchers did so well today,” said Soto, who led the CL in home runs last year, his first in Japan.
Yokohama relievers Edwin Escobar and Spencer Patton each allowed a run in the eighth, before Yasuaki Yamasaki threw a 1-2-3 ninth to record his eighth save.
Carp 2, Tigers 1 (11)
Dragons 7, Giants 3
Eagles 3, Hawks 1
At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Kodai Senga (5-1) surrendered two eighth-inning runs to suffer his first loss of the season as Tohoku Rakuten defeated Fukuoka SoftBank.
Fighters 4, Buffaloes 0
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Hokkaido Nippon Ham lefty Takayuki Kato (2-4) held Orix hitless through seven innings in the Fighters’ shutout victory.
The Buffaloes wasted a solid performance from starter Taisuke Yamaoka (4-2).
Lions 3, Marines 2