Chiba – Nick Martinez threw seven goalless innings in the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks’ 5-0 win against the Chiba Lotte Marines on Thursday afternoon for their second straight win against the Pacific League leaders.
The Hawks, who have won the last four Japan Series, are fourth, seven games behind the first-placed Marines and two games behind the third-placed Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, occupying the final playoff spot in the PL.
“It is the point of the season when you have to win big games against good teams to make it to the playoffs,” said Martinez.
Martinez, who won a silver medal for the United States in the Tokyo Olympics, improved to 8-3. He hit three while scattering five hits and three walks, and finished three innings with two runners on base.
“It was an all-round great job for our team,” said Martinez. “I attacked the zone. It (Lotte) is a really good team, you can’t get away with mistakes in the zone. “
The Hawks opened scoring against Seiya Dohi in the second inning. The left-hander was called to the start at the last minute after hard-throwing teen Roki Sasaki was unable to line up.
Yuki Yanagita led the second place with his 27th home run. The Hawks had five hits in the inning, with one run on a Nobuhiro Matsuda victim fly and another on a Masaki Mimori double with two outs.
Ryoya Kurihara’s 16th home run in the fifth game against rookie Shota Suzuki made it 4-0. Alfredo Despaigne sporadically in an insurance run in the seventh inning to complete the scoring.
SoftBank rescuer Yugo Bando dropped the Marines in the eighth and ninth order to complete the shutout.
Fighter 4, buffalo 2
At the Kyocera Dome Osaka, Hokkaido Nippon Ham rushed closer, Toshihiro Sugiura from a jam in the ninth inning to secure the team a win over runner-up Orix, who was 2½ behind.
Lion 4, eagle 3
Homered at Tokorozawa’s MetLife Dome and hitting the base five times, including a double with two outs in the ninth inning that started Seibu’s winning streak.
Dragon 3, tiger 3
At the Vantelin Dome Nagoya, Kosuke Fukudome’s RBI brace equalized the game in the ninth inning when Chunichi came down after two runs in the last frame to tie the Hanshin Tigers 3-3. Hanshin started the day second in the Central League, behind the Tokyo Yakult Swallows with a win rate of 0.571-0.568.
Giants 5, carp 0
At the Mazda Stadium in Hiroshima, Sho Nakata, Hayato Sakamoto and Zelous Wheeler each played for Yomiuri, who was up to two games on the Tigers.
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