HIROSHIMA – Kodai Senga struck out eight over seven scoreless innings as the Pacific League’s Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks beat the three-time defending Central League champion Hiroshima Carp 6-3 on Friday in a rematch of last year’s Japan Series.
“It’s been a while since I’ve pitched at Mazda Stadium, so my feel for everything was a little off. But (my catcher Takuya) Kai called a good game,” said Senga (6-1), who allowed three hits and two walks for the Japan Series champs.
The visitors took the lead against rookie right-hander Hiroki Tokoda (5-3) in the fifth. With two outs and two on, career minor leaguer Yusuke Masago looped a tough pitch over the infield for an RBI single.
Yurisbel Gracial made it 2-0 in the sixth by homering in his fourth straight game. A single and a walk followed before Kai doubled off the top of the wall in dead center to make it 4-0.
Seiya Suzuki made it a one-run game in the eighth with a three-run home run off lefty Livan Moinelo, who gave up back-to-back, two-out singles before Suzuki blasted a high fastball over the upper-deck seats in left for his 16th homer of the season.
Shuhei Fukuda hit a two-run home run with one out in the ninth off Carp closer Shota Nakazaki. With a three-run lead Hawks closer Yuito Mori worked a scoreless ninth for his 17th save.
Giants 4, Marines 3
At Tokyo Dome, Kazuma Okamoto drove in the tiebreaking run for the second straight night, snapping a 2-2 tie with a fifth-inning RBI single after Yoshihiro Maru had doubled with one out in Yomiuri ‘s victory over Chiba Lotte.
Lions 6, BayStars 2
At Yokohama Stadium, Shota Tonosaki homered for the third straight game, scored three runs and drove in three in Seibu’s triumph over Yokohama.
Dragons 13, Eagles 3
At Nagoya Stadium, Atsushi Fujii homered, scored twice and drove in three runs as Chunichi blasted Tohoku Rakuten behind seven solid innings from Yuya Yanagi (6-2).
Fighters 3, Tigers 2
At Koshien Stadium, Kohei Arihara (7-2) struck out seven over six innings, and Taishi Ota broke a seventh-inning tie with a sacrifice fly as Hokkaido Nippon Ham edged Hanshin.
Buffaloes at Swallows — ppd.