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Giants’ Mullen whiffs 11 Hawks to pick up first win this season

The Associated Press

Scott Mullen went 8 1/3 solid innings Friday as the Yomiuri Giants edged the Softbank Hawks 3-2 in interleague play.

News photoYomiuri shortstop Tomohiro Nioka turns a double play after forcing out Tony Batista of the Hawks during the fourth inning of Friday’s game at Tokyo Dome.

Mullen, who played for the Yokohama BayStars last season, struck out 11 batters at Tokyo Dome while giving up two runs on six hits for his first win of the season. Yuya Kubo retired the last two batters in the ninth for the save.

Tomohiro Nioka hit a key solo homer in the bottom of the fifth inning to give the Giants an insurance run. Softbank’s Julio Zuleta connected for a solo homer in the top of the eighth but the Hawks couldn’t close the gap and lost for the first time in four games.

Lions 6, BayStars 5

At Invoice Seibu Dome, Takeya Nakamura doubled in a pair of runs in the fourth inning to lead Seibu to a win over Yokohama. Seibu starter Fumiya Nishiguchi picked up the win after holding the BayStars to one run on three hits over six innings.

Yokohama rallied for four runs in the top of the ninth off closer Kiyoshi Toyoda, who finally got the last out to nail down the win for Nishiguchi.

Tigers 10, Marines 7

At Koshien Stadium, Makoto Imaoka and Shinjiro Hiyama hit back-to-back homers in the bottom of the seventh inning as Hanshin downed Pacific League-leading Chiba Lotte to snap a three-game losing streak.

With the score tied 6-6, Imaoka connected for a three-run homer and Hiyama added a solo shot off Lotte reliever Ken Yamazaki in the seventh.

Dragons 8, Fighters 7

At Nagoya Dome, Motonobu Tanishige and Masahiro Araki each drove in a run as Chunichi scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning on its way to a win over Nippon Ham.

Kuniyuki Kimoto hit a three-run homer and Tomoyuki Oda added a solo shot for the Fighters, who scored four runs in the top of the third.

The Fighters pulled to within one run in the top of the ninth before closer Hitoki Iwase recorded the final out to preserve the win.

Buffaloes 4, Carp 3

At Onomichi Stadium, catcher Takeshi Hidaka drove in a pair of runs on a single in the top of the fifth to lead Orix to a win over Hiroshima.

Orix reliever Daisuke Kato picked up the win after coming on in the fifth inning and holding the Carp scoreless over 2 2/3 innings.

Eagles 10, Swallows 8 (10)

Koichi Isobe nailed a go-ahead two-run homer in the top of the 10th inning as Tohoku Rakuten downed Yakult at Jingu Stadium to snap its losing skid at five.

Hawks’ lefty repeats

Softbank Hawks left-hander Toshiya Sugiuchi won the Pacific League’s monthly MVP award for the second straight month for a string of strong pitching performances in May, the league announced Friday.

Sugiuchi, who posted a 4-1 record and a 1.67 ERA in five starts in the month, became the seventh PL player to win back-to-back monthly MVP honors and the first since Hisashi Iwakuma last April-May.