Carp’s Okada earns complete-game victory over Tigers

15 Apr


A day after Hiroshima suffered its second loss of the season, Akitake Okada went the distance in the Carp’s 7-1 victory over the Hanshin Tigers on Saturday afternoon.

Okada (2-0), the Carp’s top 2015 draft pick, struck out nine, walked none and gave up four hits, while Hiroshima’s high-flying offense broke the game open early against Koyo Aoyagi (0-1)at Koshien Stadium.

“I’m focused on taking care of one hitter at a time,” said Okada after his first career complete- game victory. “I’m glad I could pitch to the end.”

Okada’s fastball touched 151 kph and he credited it with his success on Saturday, but the right-hander was able to set pitches up with his breaking pitches.

“The fastball was so effective because he could command the other pitches,” veteran catcher Yoshiyuki Ishihara said.

After a Kosuke Tanaka leadoff single, the Tigers failed to get the lead runner on the ensuing sacrifice bunt attempt. A walk loaded the bases and a fielding error by the pitcher allowed Hiroshima to open the scoring.

With one out, Aoyagi hit Brad Eldred with a pitch to force in another run and Soichiro Amaya singled in two more to make it 4-0.

Aoyagi made his second run-scoring error before Okada even allowed a base runner. A throwing error on a ball put in play by Okada made it 5-0 and Tanaka singled in another run.

The Tigers didn’t get their first runner until Kosuke Fukudome opened the fifth with a single. He scored on a Kento Itohara double. Okada pitched out of his only other trouble in the seventh and retired the last seven batters he faced.

Giants 6, Dragons 2

At Nagoya Dome, Casey McGehee drove in Yomiuri’s first two runs, and after a wild pitch by Chunichi’s Shunta Wakamatsu (0-2) moved the visitors ahead 3-2 in the sixth, offseason acquisition Shingo Ishikawa singled in an insurance run.

Swallows 7, BayStars 2

At Yokohama Stadium, Yasuhiro Ogawa (1-2) pitched out of a sixth-inning, bases-loaded jam. He allowed a run in eight innings and singled in two runs as Tokyo Yakult pounded Yokohama.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Eagles 4, Fighters 2

At Kobo Park Miyagi, Rakuten scratched out three runs against Kohei Arihara (0-3) through six innings, and Manabu Mima (2-0) threw six scoreless innings before surrendering a leadoff homer to Nippon Ham’s Kensuke Kondo in the seventh. Yuki Matsui closed out the game for the Eagles with his sixth save.

Marines 1, Lions 0

At Zozo Marine Stadium, Hideaki Wakui (1-2) pitched out of a two-out, two-on seventh-inning jam to earn his first victory of the season as Lotte hung on to beat Seibu. Lions starter Ryoma Nogami (1-2) took the tough loss after allowing a run on three hits and a hit batsman over eight innings.

Buffaloes 7, Hawks 6

At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Sachiya Yamasaki (1-0) allowed a run in 2-2/3 innings of long relief to earn the win as Orix edged Fukuoka SoftBank in a battle of the bullpens after neither starter made it to the fifth inning.

Buffaloes closer Yoshihisa Hirano allowed two runs in the ninth, but survived to earn the save.

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