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Utsumi tosses Giants’ first shutout of 2008

SENDAI (Kyodo) Tetsuya Utsumi pitched his team’s first shutout of the season Monday, leading the Yomiuri Giants to a 3-0 victory over the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in interleague action.

Utsumi (5-4) scattered eight hits — one double by Rick Short in the ninth inning — with six strikeouts and no walks in a 119-pitch outing at Kleenex Stadium. The Eagles’ Masahiro Tanaka (6-4) allowed three runs — two earned — striking out eight while walking none over the distance.

Alex Ramirez hit his Nippon Professional Baseball-leading 19th homer leading off the second and added an RBI grounder in the sixth after Takahiro Suzuki’s run-scoring double in the previous frame.