Marines top Dragons in matchup of 1st-place teams
If this game is any barometer, it looks like the Pacific League might have the advantage again over the Central League in interleague play.
Seth Greisinger didn’t allow a hit until the sixth inning, and Katsuya Kakunaka kept up his hot streak with two hits, including a first-inning RBI single as Lotte won 3-1 at Nagoya Dome on Wednesday.
The Marines, who have won the interleague title twice -- in 2005 and ’06 -- added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the ninth on singles by Kazuya Fukuura and Hisao Heiuchi that proved to be the difference on opening night of interleague.
It was also Lotte’s fifth straight victory.
Greisinger (4-1, 1.69 ERA) said he had no fantasies of throwing a no-hitter.
“Against Chunichi, they have a good hitting club and it was only matter of time before they started to get some hits,” Greisinger said in the hero interview. “But we good defense and [Tomoya] Satozaki was great behind the plate,” said the righty, who was familiar with the Dragons after pitching five years in the CL.
Greisinger said the Marines were pumped for the matchup.
“Right now, I think they’re in first place in the Central League, and we’re in first place in the Pacific League, so I knew it was going to be a tough matchup. [Kenichi] Nakata pitched great. We’re just fortunate to come out with a win.”
Nakata (3-2) went 7.2 innings, holding the Marines to one run.
The CL has topped the PL in total victories once, in 2009 when it went 70-67-7.
EAGLES 1, CARP 0, 11 INNINGS
Pinch-hitter Jose Fernandez smacked an opposite-field double to score the game’s only run, and four pitches combined on a one-hitter as Rakuten blanked Hiroshima at The Zoom.
Fourth-year Rakuten lefty Wataru Karashima took a no-no into the seventh but left in the ninth and got no decision. Jim Heuser (1-0) worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the ninth to pick up his first win in Japan. Koji Aoyama, who worked a 1-2-3 ninth, saved his Japan-record-tying sixth straight game.
GIANTS 6, BUFFALOES 0
Yoshinobu Takahashi banged a first-inning grand slam [the eighth of his career] and Satoshi Fukuda (1-1) worked three scoreless frames in emergency relief for his first win since Aug. 14, 2010, as Yomiuri blanked Orix on a combined three-hitter at Tokyo Dome.
Giants starter Ryosuke Miyaguni left the mound [for precautionary reasons] after a strong first inning because of discomfort in his shoulder. Orix lost its fifth straight.
LIONS 3, BAYSTARS 1
Last year’s PL homer king Takeya Nakamura woke up from his power slump, blasting a pair of homers to drive in all three runs, and Randy Williams (1-1) earned his first win in Japan with 1.1 scoreless innings as Seibu got past host Yokohama.
Nakamura’s second-inning solo shot was his first longball in 125 plate appearances, and he added a two-run shot [just his third this season] in the eighth, right after the BayStars had tied the score.
FIGHTERS 3, TIGERS 1
Mitsuo Yoshikawa (4-2) fired six innings of one-run ball, and Yoshio Itoi homered to help Nippon Ham get past Hanshin at Koshien Stadium.
Sho Nakata added an RBI single in the third, and three relievers combined to throw three shutout innings to close it out.
SWALLOWS 14, HAWKS 3
Lastings Milledge homered and drove in four, Shinya Miyamoto had four hits [for the first time since April 23 last year] and two RBIs and Ryuji Aikawa added three hits and three RBIs as Yakult humbled SoftBank at Jingu Stadium.
The Swallows scored in every inning in which they batted except the fourth and moved atop the CL for the first time since May 6.
*Interleague count: PL 4, CL 2