NAGOYA – Daisuke Matsuzaka was yanked after throwing just 32 pitches, during which the former major leaguer allowed eight runs on eight hits and a hit batsman in the Chunichi Dragons’ 12-3 Central League loss to the DeNA BayStars on Saturday.
Matsuzaka was making just his second start of the season after suffering shoulder inflammation from a fluke off-field injury in spring training. His first pitch was hit for a single by Tomo Otosaka, and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo hit Matsuzaka’s next strike, a 1-0 pitch for an RBI double.
Otosaka drove Matsuzaka (0-1) from the mound when he singled in a run to make it 6-0 with one out in the first. Neftali Soto capped the inning with a two-out, two-run single off reliever Takuya Mitsuma.
The victory extended the second-place BayStars’ longest win streak of the season to seven games, while Chunichi has now dropped eight straight. The BayStars now trail the league-leading Yomiuri Giants by 3 1/2 games.
“With the team having a tough go of it now, I went to the mound wanting to do something to turn things around,” Matsuzaka said. “Results like this demand an apology.”
BayStars starting pitcher Kenta Ishida (2-0) singled in a run in the first before he took the mound with an eight-run lead. The pitcher drove in three runs in DeNA’s four-run second with a no-out, bases-loaded double off Mitsuma.
Ishida threw five scoreless innings, striking out three and walking one, while allowing six hits.
Elsewhere in the CL, Hanshin right fielder Shun Takayama made a game-saving, 10th-inning catch, and Ryutaro Umeno scored the go-ahead run after legging out an 11th-inning double and coming home on Yusuke Oyama’s single in the Tigers’ 3-2 win over the Giants at Tokyo Dome.
At Jingu Stadium, Ryoma Nishikawa, Seiya Suzuki and Xavier Batista each homered in Hiroshima’s 3-2 win over the Yakult Swallows. The victory was the Carp’s eighth straight.
In the Pacific League, Yoshinobu Yamamoto (5-4) came within one out of a shutout but Brandon Dickson recorded the final out for his ninth save in the Orix Buffaloes’ 5-3 win over the SoftBank Hawks at Yafuoku Dome.
At Zozo Marine Stadium, Leonys Martin, playing his second game in Japan, followed his sixth-inning tie-breaking, RBI single with an eighth-inning tie-breaking home run, lifting the Chiba Lotte Marines 9-7 over the Rakuten Eagles.
At MetLife Dome, the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters overcame six solo Seibu Lions home runs in a 10-6, come-from-behind win that left them just a half-game back of the PL-leading Hawks.
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