MIYAZAKI – New Yomiuri Giants third baseman Shuichi Murata impressed in the first preseason game of 2012, going 3-for-3 with a homer and two RBIs in an 8-3 Saturday loss to the Hiroshima Carp.
The two-time Central League home run leader delivered a run-scoring single up the middle in the first inning and homered to left in the fourth at Sun Marine Stadium.
Murata also singled to right in the sixth before being pulled for a pinch runner.
Takahiro Iwamoto and Ryuhei Matsumoto drove in three runs apiece for the Carp, who outhit the Giants 13-9.
Shun Tono, who is vying for a spot in Yomiuri’s rotation, started and threw two perfect innings.
A total of 108 preseason games are scheduled through March 25.