After a scoreless sixth inning, he collapsed in the seventh.
Rakuten Eagles right-hander Masahiro Tanaka (35),온라인바카라 who is chasing his 200th career win in Japan, failed to add another victory for the second straight game. He gave up five runs on seven hits in six innings against the SoftBank Hawks in Fukuoka on Sept. 9 and suffered his ninth loss of the season.
Tanaka has been strong against SoftBank this season. On Aug. 26, he pitched seven innings of one-run ball against SoftBank to pick up his seventh win. He had won three of his last four games before that one.
He continued this good form until the sixth inning. He was able to take advantage of SoftBank’s lineup, which had the second-best team batting average in the Pacific League.
They retired the first and second batters in order to get off to a clean start. In the bottom of the first, he struck out Ukio Shuto, Masaki Mimori, and Yuki Yanakita on grounders to second base. The first inning ended with 12 pitches.
In the bottom of the second, he got Gensuke Gond, Akira Nakamura, and Genta Imamiya to ground out to first, fly out to center, and ground out to third, respectively.
In the bottom of the third, he struck out Tatsuru Yanagimachi (7-8) and Tomoya Inoue (8) in succession. After giving up a leadoff single to Takuya Kai in the ninth, he struck out Shuto in the 10th on a hustle.
Rakuten right-hander Tanaka. Photo credit: Rakuten Eagles SNS
In the bottom of the first inning, Tanaka retired the first eight batters in a row and got all three outs on swinging strikes.
After a scoreless fourth, fifth, and sixth inning, Tanaka was unable to get over the hump in the bottom of the seventh inning with a 2-0 lead.
SoftBank’s powerful center field came through. The leadoff hitter, No. 3 Yanagita, doubled to left field and No. 4 Gondo doubled to center field. Yanagita and Gondo are batting second and third in the Pacific League.
Nakamura, #5, then singled to center, scoring Musa. Imamiya, #6, doubled to left field to load the bases. Tied 2-2.
Musa walked to load the bases. Yanagimachi #7 singled through the left side to put the game out of reach. The Rakuten bench couldn’t take it anymore.
It was a nightmare seventh inning. After pitching a three-hit shutout through six innings, he couldn’t get a single out in the seventh and gave up five runs on four hits, including three doubles. Rakuten lost 2-7.
Photo credit: Rakuten Eagles SNS
The Eagles’ ERA jumped from 4.69 to 4.82. This ranks last in the Pacific League. Tanaka is the only one of the 11 pitchers in the four-run range.
Tanaka has 119 wins with Rakuten and 78 with the New York Yankees in Major League Baseball. He has 197 career wins.