TOKOROZAWA, SAITAMA PREF. – The interleague-leading Yomiuri Giants improved to 6-0 against the Pacific League this season, when former PL strikeout king Toshiya Sugiuchi pitched eight-plus innings in a 2-0 victory over the Seibu Lions at Seibu Dome on Wednesday.
Yomiuri is 9-0 with three ties since its last loss on May 5.
Sugiuchi, who led the PL in strikeouts in 2007 and 2008 before moving to the Central League this season as a free agent, outdueled Lions right-hander Takayuki Kishi, who fell to 4-4 despite a solid eight innings.
Two-time CL home run leader Shuichi Murata hit his third homer since joining the Giants over the winter, a leadoff shot in the second that gave Sugiuchi the only run he’d need.
The Giants, who had just three hits and no walks, added a run in the eighth on a safety squeeze by former Lion Yoshihito Ishii.
Sugiuchi (6-1) allowed four hits and issued four walks, while striking out eight. The lefty left after walking the first two batters he faced in the ninth.
Tetsuya Yamaguchi came on and walked the bases loaded before striking out a batter and inducing a game-ending double play.
The Giants moved to within one game of the CL-leading Chunichi Dragons, who lost in Sendai.
Hawks 6, Carp 3
At Fukuoka’s Yahoo Dome, Hiroki Kokubo’s bid for his 2,000th career hit will have to wait after he went 0-for-3 in Softbank’s win over Hiroshima.
Seichi Uchikawa opened the scoring in the first with an RBI single and Nagisa Arakaki (4-1) allowed three runs in 6⅔ innings.
Marines 5, Swallows 1
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Seth Greisinger (5-1) allowed four hits without issuing a walk in seven scoreless innings as PL-leading Lotte handed Yakult its fourth straight loss.
Toshiaki Imae broke the ice for the hosts with an RBI single in the fifth. Katsuya Kakunaka’s two-run triple made it 3-0 in the sixth and Shunichi Nemoto tripled in another run in the seventh.
Fighters 3, BayStars 1
At Sapporo Dome, PL ERA leader Mitsuo Yoshikawa (4-1) allowed a run in five-plus innings despite giving up seven hits and two walks as Hokkaido Nippon Ham downed Yokohama. Yoshikawa has a 1.13 ERA.
Kensuke Tanaka opened the scoring with a first-inning RBI triple and scored himself on an infield single by Atsunori Inaba. Daikan Yoh’s sacrifice fly plated Inaba in the fourth.
Eagles 4, Dragons 0
At Sendai’s Kleenex Stadium, Shintaro Masuda belted his first career home run, a two-run shot, and four Rakuten pitchers combined on an eight-hit shutout as the Eagles beat Chunichi for their third straight win.
Wataru Karashima (2-1) kept the ball down and held the Dragons to five hits and a walk over six innings. Chunichi lefty Kenichi Nakata (3-3) allowed three runs in seven innings.
Tigers 8, Orix 2
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, lefty Minoru Iwata (3-5) gave up two runs in 5⅓ innings and Hanshin had 11 hits in taking the second game of this year’s Kansai derby over Orix.
The Buffaloes, who had won three straight since losing star center fielder Tomotaka Sakaguchi to injury on May 17, deactivated slugging outfielder Takahiro Okada before the game due to a hamstring injury that has plagued him since April.