NISHINOMIYA – Highly touted rookie Shintaro Fujinami posted his first career win with six shutout innings in his home debut as the Hanshin Tigers routed the DeNA BayStars 4-0 on Sunday.
The 19-year-old Fujinami (1-1), the Tigers’ No. 1 draft choice out of Osaka Toin High School, allowed five hits — all singles — and struck out four with one walk at Koshien Stadium. Daisuke Miura (1-1) yielded four runs in seven innings of the loss.
“I am thrilled to get my first win at home here at Koshien,” said Fujinami, whose fastball clocked 152 kph on the radar gun.
Last year, the 1.97 meter Fujinami helped Osaka Toin to consecutive championships at Koshien in the spring invitational and the national summer tournament.
“Like I always feel, this is an easy stadium for me to pitch in,” he said. “I wasn’t in that good form, but considering that, I was able to get the job done.”
Fujinami combined with three relievers in the shutout and even helped his own cause with his first career RBI on a suicide squeeze with one out in the fifth. Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Yamato Maeda chipped in with back-to-back RBI singles to cap the three-run frame.
Fujinami made history on March 31. His pro debut in Hanshin’s third game of the season was the earliest for a rookie to start a game straight out of high school, beating the record of four games set by Daisuke Matsuzaka in 1999 and later equaled by Hideaki Wakui in 2005.
Giants 2, Swallows 0
At Tokyo Dome, lefty Tetsuya Utsumi (2-0) went seven shutout innings on two-hit ball, John Bowker was 2-for-4 with an RBI triple, and Yomiuri downed Yakult to win its third straight for its Central-League leading 10th win of the season.
Captain Shinnosuke Abe opened the scoring in the third with an RBI single and Bowker hit a two-out triple to center off left-hander Ryosuke Yagi (1-1) to make it 2-0. Yakult fell to its fourth consecutive defeat.
Dragons 7, Carp 1
At Nagoya Dome, Soma Yamauchi limited the damage to one unearned run over eight effective innings, Hector Luna and Kazuhiro Wada drove in two runs apiece, and Chunichi walloped Hiroshima.
Yamauchi (2-1) gave up four hits, struck out six and walked four. Luna had a run-scoring double followed by Wada’s two-run double to key a four-run first against Takaya Toda (0-1), who was chased in one inning in his first start of the season.
Fighters 7, Buffaloes 6
At Hotto Motto Field, Yang Dai-kang hit two of Nippon Ham’s five homers in an 18-hit onslaught as the team rallied from three runs down to scrape by Orix.
Trailing 4-1 in the fourth, Yang and Sho Nakata both hit solo blasts before Micah Hoffpauir tied it up with another drive in the seventh. Haruki Nishikawa and Yang went deep as Nippon Ham pulled ahead in a three-run eighth. Rookie Yohei Kagiya (1-0) got his first career win after two innings of scoreless relief.
Lions 4, Eagles 2
At Kleenex Stadium, Ken Togame threw one-run ball over seven innings, setting the pace as Seibu defeated Rakuten for its PL-leading 10th victory of the year.
Togame (2-1) scattered eight hits, struck out five and walked three. Tatsuya Oishi pitched a perfect ninth for his third save. Yasunori Kikuchi (0-2) was roughed up for four runs in 3-1/3 innings. Ryan Spilborghs and Esteban German drove in runs on consecutive hits in a four-run fourth. Rakuten was held to two runs despite its 10 hits.
Hawks 9, Marines 2
At Yahoo Dome, Softbank broke out the bats with four consecutive RBI singles to snap a 2-2 tie in a six-run fifth, sparked by Nobuhiro Matsuda’s two-run single, in a romp over Lotte.
Yoshiaki Fujioka (1-0) pitched 1-1/3 scoreless frames in relief for the win. Reliever Yuhei Nakaushiro (0-1) took the loss for Lotte, which was limited to just four hits on the afternoon.