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Miyamoto records 2,000th career hit

Kyodo

Tokyo Yakult Swallows third baseman Shinya Miyamoto picked up his 2,000th career hit in Friday’s 8-4 win over the Hiroshima Carp.

Miyamoto became the 40th player in Japanese baseball history to reach the milestone when he singled to center off Yuya Fukui in the second inning at Jingu Stadium.

At 41 years 5 months, the nine-time Golden Glove winner also became the oldest player to reach 2,000 hits. Three-time batting Triple Crown winner Hiromitsu Ochiai was 41 years 4 months when he recorded his 2,000th in April 1995.

“I’m relieved and I’m so happy to have my 2,000th hit in front of a capacity crowd at Jingu Stadium,” Miyamoto said. “I just tried to hit a comebacker.

“To be honest, I wasn’t in a normal mental state after I moved within 10 hits of 2,000. I began to stay calm when the countdown hit four or so. I’m just so relieved.”

Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters first baseman Atsunori Inaba got his 2,000th career hit on April 28.

Miyamoto and Inaba both needed 1,976 games to reach the mark. Miyamoto finished Friday’s game 1-for-3.

Giants 4, Tigers 0

At Nishinomiya’s Koshien Stadium, Toshiya Sugiuchi pitched a one-hitter for his first shutout in a Yomiuri uniform as the Giants beat the Hanshin Tigers 4-0 on Friday.

Sugiuchi (4-1) won his third straight start after striking out eight and walking one in a 118-pitch outing at Koshien Stadium.

The left-hander, who joined Yomiuri this past offseason as a free agent from the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks, did not allow a runner until Takashi Toritani singled with two outs in the fourth inning and faced only two batters over the minimum.

“I pitched very aggressively today,” Sugiuchi said. “My fastball was really on and my changeup was also effective. I like this mound at Koshien. I feel comfortable pitching here.”

Shuichi Murata gave Yomiuri a 1-0 lead with a two-out RBI single in the first and added a solo home run in the sixth off Atsushi Nomi (2-3).

Hisayoshi Chono hit a two-run homer in the second. The Giants have won six of their last eight games.

“We scored runs effectively today,” Yomiuri manager Tatsunori Hara said. “We haven’t reached .500 (winning percentage) yet. I just hope we can keep the momentum going.”

BayStars 3, Dragons 3 (9)

At Yokohama Stadium, Alex Ramirez and Norihiro Nakamura hit back-to-back home runs leading off the bottom of the ninth inning as DeNA managed a nine-inning tie with Chunichi.

Dragons closer Hitoki Iwase blew a save, giving up both homers. Ryosuke Hirata hit a bases-loaded double in the third to give Chunichi a 3-0 lead in a game interrupted for 47 minutes by rain.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Fighters 9, Buffaloes 2

At Sapporo Dome, Sho Nakata and Shinya Tsuruoka drove in three runs apiece to back Yuki Saito (4-1) as Hokkaido Nippon Ham routed Orix.

Nakata opened the scoring with a three-run homer off Hayato Terahara (0-2). Saito gave up nine hits but limited the damage to two runs in seven innings.

Marines 3, Lions 2

At Saitama’s Seibu Dome, Yoshihisa Naruse (2-2) went the distance to pick up his first win since the March 30 opening day as Chiba Lotte edged Seibu.

Toshiaki Imae broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning with an RBI triple off reliever Randy Williams (0-1), his second extra-base hit of the afternoon.

Eagles 5, Hawks 0

At Fukuoka’s Yahoo Dome, Kelvin Jimenez (2-3) and two relievers combined on a six-hit shutout as Tohoku Rakuten ended Softbank’s winning streak at three games.

Rakuten took a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Luis Garcia followed an Akihisa Makida RBI double with a run-scoring infield single. Shingo Tatsumi (0-1) gave up five runs in four innings.