The boys came back home for a three game stretch against the Eagles of Friday. Ever-reliable Naruse got the start vs rookie Norimoto, beneficiary of the 17-run beatdown Lotte suffered in Sendai 2 weeks ago. This game was nothing like that one as both starters pitched great and Lotte emerged with a nice 3-1 victory.
Naruse got into a bit of trouble first as he lost his control vs a tight zone in the third. He walked Andruw Jones with the bases loaded for the first run of the game. Naruse was quite solid the rest of the game, never getting in trouble and only giving up 2 more hits enroute to an 8-inning, 127 pitch win.
Norimoto was fantastic to start the game, throwing 4 1/3 perfect frames at the outset. Imae broke open the offense with a rocket off the center field fence in the 5th. Daichi (starting at second) smashed a triple to center for the second straight game to plate Imae and tie the game. Ishimine followed up immediately with a bouncer up the middle to score Daichi and give Lotte the lead.
That’s all Naruse needed, but he got another insurance run in the 8th off the bat of new first baseman Iguchi. Masuda closed out the 9th for his 4th save and just like that, Lotte moves into second in the PL.