SAPPORO – Fukuoka Softbank Hawks lefty Toshiya Sugiuchi threw a two-hitter and struck out 11 en route to his third shutout of the season in a 4-0 win over the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters Saturday.
Sugiuchi (7-3) walked one in a 116-pitch outing and didn’t allow a runner to reach second base at Sapporo Dome.
Masaru Takeda (9-7) yielded four runs in a six innings.
“I was determined to win no matter what. I wanted to go out there and be aggressive, not passive,” said Sugiuchi, who fanned No. 3 hitter Yoshio Itoi and cleanup hitter Sho Nakata two times apiece.
Munenori Kawasaki opened the scoring with an RBI single in the third inning, which also featured a Seiichi Uchikawa sacrifice fly. Hitoshi Tamura hit a solo homer in the fourth and Uchikawa added a run-scoring single the following frame.
“Whenever I have a chance to face the Fighters, I want to try not to lose,” Sugiuchi said.
Nippon Ham manager Masataka Nashida admitted that his team failed to find any openings.
“We couldn’t get the hits rolling at all. Even when we did, it would end up in a double play, or we just couldn’t find any openings,” he said.
Eagles 4, Marines 1
At Sendai’s Kleenex Stadium, Masahiro Tanaka (11-4) went the distance on five-hit ball and Daisuke Kusano had a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning as Tohoku Rakuten came from behind to beat Chiba Lotte.
A Kensuke Uchimura single tied it at 1-1 in the fifth before back-to-back RBI singles from Kusano and pinch hitter Masato Nakamura and a balk by Carlos Rosa for the fourth run.
Yoshihiro Ito (1-1) took the loss.
Lions 2, Buffaloes 1
Swallows 8, Tigers 2
At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Kazuhiro Hatakeyama homered and had four RBIs and Yoshinori Sato limited the damage to two runs and six hits in a complete-game effort to earn his first win since May 26 in Tokyo Yakult’s rout of Hanshin.
Giants 5, Carp 2
At Tokyo Dome, Shinnosuke Abe hit a game-tying two-run homer in the fifth inning and Hisayoshi Chono delivered a clutch two-run triple in the eighth as Yomiuri rallied past Hiroshima.
Chono drove in runners from first and second off reliever Hideki Kishimoto (3-1) with one out in the eighth and Alex Ramirez followed with a sacrifice fly.
Dragons 4, BayStars 2