Ace Yu Darvish tossed his sixth complete game win of the season to lead the Nippon Ham Fighters to a 2-1 win over the Lotte Marines Wednesday night, completing a three-game sweep and helping keep the Fighters in first place in Japan’s Pacific League standings.
The 12-3 Darvish allowed just two hits and struck out six in joining Seibu’s Hideaki Wakui as Japan’s only 12-game winners as Nippon Ham won their fifth game in a row to go to 48-32-1 on the season. The second-place Softbank Hawks kept pace by outlasting Seibu, 7-6, as Hiroki Kokubo’s tiebreaking RBI single off Lions pitcher Marcus Gwyn in the seventh was the difference-maker. Tadashi Settsu won in relief while closer Takahiro Mahara earned his 19th save of the year. Seibu fell to 42-39-3, and are currently in third place.
The Yomiuri Giants continue to lead the Central League with a 50-28-7 record, but the 51-34-1 Chunichi Dragons have been quietly closing in on the Kyojin. The Giants bopped the Yokohama BayStars, 6-2, Wednesday night as Michihiro Ogasawara hit two of Yomiuri’s four home runs to support pitcher Wirfin Obispo’s first complete game of the season. Chunichi also won Wednesday, topping the Hiroshima Carp, 3-2. Masaaki Koike’s eighth-inning single drove in Atsushi Fujii from second base with the game-winning run.