Rookie Yutaro Watanabe threw six scoreless innings, and Takeya Nakamura launched a two-run home run for the Seibu Lions, who survived a late rally to beat the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 6-5 on Sunday.

Watanabe (4-4) exited with the fifth-place Lions in command 6-0 at Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi as he outdueled opposing starter Masahiro Tanaka (4-8), before a three-run blast from Tsuyoshi Yamasaki brought the Eagles back into the contest in the seventh.

A two-run rally in the final frame threatened to undo Watanabe’s work before Ryosuke Moriwaki replaced Reed Garret with two outs and the bases loaded. The righty coaxed a flyout from Eigoro Mogi to end the game and prevent the third-place Eagles from extending their lead over the fourth-place Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.

The 21-year-old Watanabe fanned five, allowing four hits and four walks.

Nakamura chased Tanaka, a former MLB All-Star with his two-run big fly that capped a four-run rally in the fifth. Tanaka gave up five earned runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out five in 4⅔ innings.

Seiji Kawagoe put the Lions on the board with an RBI single in the fourth, while an RBI double from Sosuke Genda and a Takumi Kuriyama sacrifice fly made it 3-0 before Nakamura stepped to the plate in the fifth.

The right-handed slugger got a 1-2 fastball over the middle of the plate and launched it high over left center for his 18th homer. He went 2-for-4 to pace the Lions’ offense along with Genda, who finished 3-for-4 with a run and two RBIs.

Fighters 4, Buffaloes 3

At Sapporo Dome, Naoyuki Uwasawa (12-6) allowed three runs over six innings as Hokkaido Nippon Ham edged PL-leading Orix.

Hawks at Marines — ppd.


Swallows 7, BayStars 3

At Yokohama Stadium, Tetsuto Yamada drove in five runs, including with a three-run homer in the ninth, as Central League-leading Yakult beat DeNA.

Carp 4, Tigers 2

At Nishinomiya’s Koshien Stadium, the Hiroshima Carp scored all their runs through solo homers, including two from Seiya Suzuki.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.