Hiroki Kuroda came up empty in his second attempt at his 200th career victory in top-flight pro ball as his Central League-leading Hiroshima Carp were shut out for the fourth time this season in a 6-0 loss to the Yomiuri Giants at Mazda Stadium.
Kuroda, who has 79 wins in MLB and 120 in NPB, fell to 6-5 on the season, in a game that was tight through five innings. The Carp had a chance in the bottom of the fifth with no outs and one on and trailing 1-0. Giants third baseman Shuichi Murata passed a reflex-test by leaping for a liner near the third-base bag for an out.
In the top of the sixth, the 41-year-old Kuroda came within an inch of working around a leadoff double. The threate started when 23-year-old rookie Yasuhiro Yamamoto put a great swing on a good splitter. After two ground outs, first baseman Takahiro Arai stabbed at a bad hop, but it deflected off his glove for an RBI single and Murata followed with his 11th home run of the season.
Kuroda made few mistakes early but luck was not on his side. The right-hander’s ERA rose to 3.10 after allowing six runs in 6-2/3 innings.
Also in the CL, Zach Petrick, in his first game since April 28 and his first start after seven relief appearances, allowed two runs in five innings and went 2-for-2 with two RBIs for rookie manager Alex Ramirez‘s DeNA BayStars in a 7-2 win over the Chunichi Dragons. Elian Herrera doubled twice, scored twice and drove in a run for the BayStars.
At Tokyo’s historic Jingu Stadium, evergreen outfielder Kosuke Fukudome went 3-for-4 with two walks, a home run and a tie-breaking, two-run, 11th-inning double to lead the Hanshin Tigers past last year’s CL champion Yakult Swallows.
In the Pacific League, Felix Perez, who homered in his first NPB at-bat on Tuesday, delivered an encore on Wednesday, going 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs as the Rakuten Eagles came from behind to defeat the Seibu Lions at Seibu Prince Dome.
In Chiba, Kodai Senga allowed three hits but no walks over eight innings as the league-leading SoftBank Hawks beat the Lotte Marines 3-0, shutting the third-place club out for the second straight night.
In Osaka, the second-place Nippon Ham Fighters regrouped to beat the Orix Buffaloes 3-2 behind a three-run double from Sho Nakata. Former New York Yankee Chris Martin worked a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his 10th save since being promoted to closer on June 19.
Here’s the PL TV replay of Nakata’s double: