HIROSHIMA – Right-hander Bryan Bullington allowed three leadoff singles but no runs over seven innings on Thursday to earn the Hiroshima Carp’s first win of the season, a 1-0 decision over the Tokyo Yakult Swallows at Mazda Stadium.
Bullington, the losing pitcher in the Carp’s season-opener, gave up four singles and walked a batter, while striking out six. Right-handers Takeru Imamura and Kam Mickolio each worked an inning to preserve the shutout.
“It’s good to get it out of the way,” said Bullington, the first pick of Major League Baseball’s 2002 amateur draft. “(I was) just trying to execute pitches. I had a couple of jams early in the game I was able to get out of. I got into a little bit of a rhythm my last three or four innings. I was just trying to keep putting zeroes up there, and our guys were able to get a run across.”
The Carp, who entered the game with 11 runs from five games, the lowest total in Nippon Professional Baseball, needed some help from their guests.
Hiroshima took the lead in the fifth against lefty Katsuki Akagawa (0-1), who paid the price by walking five batters in 6-2/3 innings.
Akagawa walked Yoshihiro Maru to open the inning. Maru came around to score from first as a result of a one-out single by Brad Eldred and a throwing error by Swallows left fielder Lastings Milledge.
Dragons 1, Tigers 0
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, former Baltimore Orioles right-hander Daniel Cabrera (1-0) won his Japan debut with seven scoreless innings as Chunichi got past Hanshin.
Tigers southpaw Daiki Enokida (0-1) allowed an unearned run on two hits and a walk over eight innings. The Dragons snuck onto the scoreboard in the eighth, when Masahiko Morino doubled and scored on a two-out throwing error by third baseman Ryota Arai.
Giants 7, BayStars 4
At Yokohama Stadium, John Bowker’s second-inning grand slam gave Yomiuri the breathing room it needed to beat Yokohama for the second straight night and remain undefeated this season. New acquisition Jose Lopez also went deep with a two-run bomb for the Giants.
BayStars outfielder Alex Ramirez threw a runner out at the plate, but went hitless for the second straight night in pursuit of his 2,000th career hit in Japan. He needs three more to become the first foreign-registered player to achieve the feat.
Buffaloes 13, Eagles 2
At Sendai’s Kleenex Stadium, Orix overwhelmed 19-year-old Yoshinao Kamata (0-1). The right-hander, who went 7-4 last season, his first out of high school, allowed eight runs on six hits, three walks and three hit batsmen in his 2013 debut. He struck out two.
Lee Dae Ho had three hits and scored three runs for the Buffaloes, while leadoff man Tomotaka Sakaguchi went 3-for-5 with three RBIs.
Italy international right-hander Alessandro Maestri (1-0) allowed two runs in six innings. He gave up six hits and three walks.
Lions 3, Hawks 1
At Tokorozawa’s Seibu Dome, Seibu’s Hideto Asamura broke a 1-1 tie with a two-run, fifth-inning triple off former major leaguer Vincente Padilla (0-1), who was making his Japan debut for Fukuoka Softbank.
Lions starter Hideaki Wakui (1-0) survived allowing eight hits over six innings as Seibu won its fifth straight since losing on Opening Day.
Fighters 8, Marines 5
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Sho Nakata broke a 2-2, sixth-inning tie with a leadoff homer and Yang Dai-kang capped the six-run inning with a grand slam and Hokkaido Nippon Ham held on to beat Chiba Lotte.
Veteran right-hander Hiroki Kisanuki, acquired by the Fighters in the blockbuster trade that sent star outfielder Yoshio Itoi to Orix, allowed three runs in seven innings to earn the win.