Hiroya Miyagi of Samurai Japan in action during the training session at Sugimoto Shoji Buffaloes Stadium Maishima on March 05, 2023 in Osaka, Japan. (Photo by Kenta Harada/Getty Images)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
Orix Buffaloes starting pitcher Hiroya Miyagi threw his third complete game shutout of the season on Thursday night, as the Buffaloes topped the Seibu Lions 5-0 in the finale of their three-game road series.
Miyagi threw 117 pitches and faced 31 batters, allowing four hits and striking out 12.
In 18 games this season, Miyagi is 9-4 and has thrown 119.1 innings while allowing 92 hits, six home runs, 24 walks, 33 earned runs, and 98 strikeouts with a 2.49 ERA.
Last season, Miyagi helped the Orix Buffaloes win their fifth Japan Series title, beating the Tokyo Yakult Swallows in six games. Miyagi went 11-8 with 3.16 ERA over 24 starts, throwing two complete games and 148.1 innings, allowing 137 hits, 52 earned runs, 11 home runs, 30 walks, and striking out 127 batters with a 1.126 WHIP.
In 2021, Miyagi was selected to his only All-Star Game and won the Pacific League Rookie of the Year Award after starting in 23 games with a 2.51 ERA, posting a 13-4 record and throwing 147 innings while allowing 1118 hits, nine home runs, 39 walks, and 131 strikeouts with a 1.068 WHIP.
Miyagi is 34-17 with a 2.78 ERA in his Nippon Professional Baseball career, throwing five complete games and four shutouts over 430.2 innings and allowing 366 hits, 26 home runs, 99 walks, and striking out 372 batters.
The Orix Buffaloes did not get on the board until the top of the third inning when third baseman So Yuma placed an RBI single to right field as center fielder Tomoya Noguchi for the first run of the game. The next batter, designated hitter Keita Nakagawa ripped a three-run home run over the left center field wall extending the lead to 4-0.
Seibu Lions starting pitcher Chihiro Sumida threw six innings allowing four earned runs, seven hits, two walks, and four strikeouts.
In the top of the seventh, Nakagawa hit a single into right center field and left fielder Watanabe Haruto came in to score to make it 5-0.
During the bottom of the ninth inning, Miyagi faced designated hitter Takeya Nakamura and got him to strikeout swinging for the final out of the game on a breaking pitch out of the strike zone.
Sumida dropped his record to 7-8 for the season along with his ERA at 3.47.
The first-place Orix Buffaloes (66-40-3) are currently eight and half games ahead of the second place Chiba Lotte Marines (56-47-4) in the Pacific League. The Orix Buffaloes will play their first game of their three game home series against the Chiba Lotte Marines at 5 a.m. EDT.