Baseball: Masahiro Tanaka hurls a 4-hitter as the Eagles win 11 straight


Masahiro Tanaka of the Rakuten Eagles plays against the Lotte Marines in a Pacific League game at Rakuten Seimei Park in Sendai on May 10, 2022. (kyodo)

SENDAI (Kyodo) — Masahiro Tanaka threw a four-hitter as the Pacific League-leading Rakuten Eagles defeated the Lotte Marines 7-0 to extend their club-record winning streak to 11 games on Tuesday.

Former New York Yankee Tanaka (4-1) needed just 107 pitches to earn the win at Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi. The right-hander went the distance for the first time this season, batting seven and walking one.

Tanaka allowed a single through the first four innings. He gave up two in a row to start the fifth but pulled back the next three batters to get out of the jam and his team scored twice in the home half to assist him.

With bases loaded and two outs, Ginji Akaminai covered the opening run with an infield single and Rakuten hit another with a pass ball.

Tanaka gave up a single and a walk to open the seventh but again got away unscathed, this time finishing the inning with a double before the Eagles scored five points in the eighth to all but seal the result.

Jose Marmolejos doubled in two runs to pursue Lotte starter Kasuya Ojima (0-4) before Ryosuke Tatsumi in one run and Ginjiro Sumitani scored two more to complete the goal.

“I was just concentrating on my next batter, the next pitch,” Tanaka said. “I’ve had traffic jams but I’ve been trying not to let the situation get to me…the fans have given me that final nudge.”

The Orix Buffaloes defeated the Nippon Ham Fighters 4-2 in the day’s other PL game.

The Chunichi Dragons defeated Central League leaders Yakult Swallows 1-0 after Ariel Martinez hit a solo shot in the fourth inning. The DeNA BayStars defeated the Yomiuri Giants 3-1 and the Hiroshima Carp defeated the Hanshin Tigers 3-0.


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