• Kyodo


Ayumu Ishikawa held the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles to a run over seven innings in his first start of the season as the Chiba Lotte Marines won 6-2 on Tuesday, handing the first back-to-back loss of the season to the Pacific League-leading club.

Ishikawa (1-0) gave up two-out doubles to Hiroaki Shimauchi and Hideto Asamura in the first inning to hand the home team the lead. But the right-hander picked up, striking out five without a walk on seven hits in an 87-pitch effort before leaving the mound with a 3-1 lead.

Koki Yamaguchi tied the game in the top of the second with a solo home run off Rakuten’s Takayuki Kishi (2-1). With runners on the corners with two outs in the sixth, a catching error by Rakuten catcher Takahiro Shimotsuma handed Lotte the go-ahead run before Yamaguchi again drove in a run, this time with an RBI single.

Kishi was chased after the frame and tagged with his first loss of the season after allowing three runs, one earned, on four hits and two walks, striking out seven in a 104-pitch outing at Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi.

An RBI single from Yudai Fujioka and an error from Asamura in the eighth handed three more runs to Lotte. Rakuten loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth, and Hikaru Ota’s pinch-hit RBI single saw the home team score its second run, but Hiroto Obukata’s infield fly ended the game.

At MetLife Dome, Takahide Ikeda (1-2) held the Saitama Seibu Lions to a run on three hits over six innings as the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters came from behind to win 3-2.

At PayPay Dome, the Orix Buffaloes’s Daiki Tajima (1-1) held the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks to a run on a hit and five walks over 6⅓ innings to end their six-game unbeaten run in a 7-4 win.

In the Central League, Yomiuri Giants starter Angel Sanchez (1-1) came out on top of the pitching duel with the Chunichi Dragons’ Yudai Ono (0-2) after giving up a single hit and fanning eight over 7-1/3 innings in a 2-1 win at Tokyo Dome.

At Jingu Stadium, Albert Suarez (1-1) pitched a two-hit ball over six innings, and Munetaka Murakami hit his sixth homer of the season, a three-run shot in the sixth, as the Tokyo Yakult Swallows returned to.500 with a 5-1 win over the Yokohama DeNA BayStars.

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