Takeda twirls gem as Nippon Ham blanks Hawks
Nippon Ham’s Masaru Takeda was kryptonite to batters chomping at the bit from six days off for the All-Star break.
The slow-tossing lefty killed the SoftBank Hawks softly, going six scoreless inning before turning it over to the bullpen, which closed it out for a 1-0 win over at FYJ Dome on Wednesday in the first action since the All-Star break.
Sho Nakata opened the second inning with a solo blast [his 11th] and the Fighters followed with three straight singles to load the bases with no outs, but a pair of strikeouts and a groundout squashed the threat. The Hawks put together eight hits and drew a walk, but couldn’t convert any their chances to suffer their first 1-0 loss to Nippon Ham since April 15, 2006.
The win moved the second-place Fighters to within a game of the top spot in the Pacific League, the closest they’ve been since June 26.
Takeda (7-5) yielded six hits and a walk, while fanning three. Hisashi Takeda allowed two hits in the ninth before snuffing out the rally for his 12th save.
LIONS 4, MARINES 2
Shogo Akiyama tripled in two to put Seibu up in the third inning, and Hiroyuki Nakajima had three hits [to notch that at least that many over a club-record fourth straight game] as the Lions downed front-running Lotte at Seibu Dome.
Hideaki Wakui preserved the victory with a scoreless ninth for his 10th save to push the Lions over .500 and into fourth place.
BUFFALOES 5, EAGLES 1
Hiroshi Kisanuki (3-6) scattered seven hits in his second complete-game win of the season, and Takahiro Okada had two hits and an RBI as Orix topped Rakuten at Kyocera Dome Osaka.
GIANTS 6, BAYSTARS 2
Second-year righty Hirokazu Sawamura (8-7) took things into his own hands, firing a career-high 139-pitch complete game -- his second of the season -- to win his fourth straight decision as Yomiuri downed last-place Yokohama at Tokyo Dome.
Hayato Sakamoto drove in three runs with a double and a homer to back Sawamura, who worked around 10 hits and two walks with eight Ks.
DRAGONS 6, TIGERS 0
Kazuki Yoshimi (7-4) handcuffed Hanshin on four hits in his first shutout this season, and Kazuhiro Wada fell just shy of the cycle when his long fly to center came up short of the wall as Chunichi cruised at Nagoya Dome.
CARP 1, SWALLOWS 1, 10 INNINGS
Cam Mikolio induced a harmless groundout from Wladimir “Coco” Balentien with the bases loaded in the 10th to give Hiroshima a time-limit draw with host Yakult.
[Edited by: jgibson on Jul 26, 2012 9:25 AM]