Orix Buffaloes ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles starter Takahiro Norimoto went toe-to-toe Wednesday in a Pacific League pitching duel that ended with five total hits and no runs.

The scoreless tie came a day after the two sides opened their series with a 5-5 stalemate at Kyocera Dome Osaka, where play is taking place behind closed doors during the coronavirus state of emergency through May 11.

Yamamoto (3-2) went the distance for his second shutout of the season, striking out five, while giving up three hits and a walk in his 96-pitch outing.

Norimoto (2-1) fanned six and allowed two hits and a walk over eight. He combined with closer Yuki Matsui on the shutout for the Eagles, who came into the game on top of the PL standings.

Rakuten catcher Hikaru Ota singled in the sixth and ninth to go 2-for-3.

Matsui was in control of the final frame before walking consecutive batters with two outs. The lefty struck out Takahiro Okada looking on a 2-2 slider to end the game.

“I was really after the win, but I’m glad we didn’t end up losing,” Norimoto said.

Lions 3, Marines 2

At Tokorozawa’s MetLife Dome, Seibu beat Lotte after Takumi Kuriyama broke a 2-2 tie with a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth.

Fighters 4, Hawks 3

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, Hiromi Ito (1-2) earned his first win of the season for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters.


Dragons 6, Tigers 1

At Vantelin Dome Nagoya, Dayan Viciedo belted a three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth as Chunichi recorded its second win in a row against CL-leading Hanshin.

Giants 7, Swallows 3

At Jingu Stadium, Justin Smoak, Kazuma Okamoto and Yoshihiro Maru homered for Yomiuri in win over Yakult in the other game being played behind closed doors.

BayStars 13, Carp 2

At Mazda Stadium, Masayuki Kuwahara drove in three runs, including a seventh-inning solo homer, for DeNA in a blowout of the Carp

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