NISHINOMIYA, HYOGO PREF. – Lefty Atsushi Nomi pitched his first shutout of the season, Matt Murton hit his second three-run homer in as many days and the Hanshin Tigers blew out the rival Yomiuri Giants 9-0 on Saturday afternoon.
The Tigers won their fourth straight, beating the Giants for the second straight day with a 14-hit onslaught at Koshien Stadium, including four hits from captain Takashi Toritani.
Nomi (2-1), who allowed 10 runs to the Giants in the season opener, scattered six hits, all singles, and struck out seven with one walk in a 127-pitch outing.
The Giants’ left-handed ace Tetsuya Utsumi (0-2) got banged around for five runs on seven hits in six innings of the loss as Yomiuri dropped into second place.
“I was a little worried because they scored a lot of runs off me in the season opener,” Nomi said. “Now I can kind of put that behind me.
“Our bullpen had been working overtime lately so I’m glad I could give them a day off.”
Ryota Arai took Utsumi deep over the center field wall with two outs in the second and tacked on an RBI double in the fourth.
Murton teed off to left to make it 5-0 in the sixth and added an RBI single in the seventh, which also included Toritani’s RBI double. The Tigers shut the door in the whitewash with two more runs in the eighth.
Giants captain Shinnosuke Abe, who batted sixth, and shortstop Hayato Sakamoto were both 0-for-3 with a strikeout each.
“It isn’t as if there were no gaps. We just couldn’t push through the gaps,” said Giants skipper Tatsunori Hara.
Carp 5, Dragons 0
At Mazda Stadium, Kenta Maeda (2-0) allowed one hit in five shutout innings and three relievers did the rest as Hiroshima blanked Chunichi to leapfrog Yomiuri into first place with its second straight win.
Jun Hirose sparked the offense with a two-run single off lefty Yudai Ono (0-2) in the first inning.
BayStars 5, Swallows 4
At Yokohama Stadium, Junichi Ino (3-0) pitched a complete game, issuing no walks for the first time in his career as Yokohama snapped a three-game skid with its first home victory of the season. Wladimir Balentien hit his fifth homer, a two-run drive, for Tokyo Yakult.
Hawks 7, Buffaloes 1
At Yafuoku Dome, Yuichi Honda had a game-tying RBI triple in the fifth inning and Kenta Imamiya hit a go-ahead single as Fukuoka Softbank came from behind to rout Chihiro Kaneko (1-1) and Orix. Former Chunichi righty Kenichi Nakata (3-0) won his third straight start.
Eagles 17, Marines 10
At QVC Marine Field, the Japan Series champion Golden Eagles rapped out a franchise-high 24 hits against Chiba Lotte to end a three-game losing streak and return to .500.
Tohoku Rakuten erupted for eight runs in the third. Ginji Akaminai went 4-for-5 with two RBIs.
Fighters 3, Lions 2
At Sapporo Dome, second-year right-hander Shohei Otani battled through 5⅔ innings of one-run ball for his first win of the season against shaky lefty Yusei Kikuchi (0-3), striking out a career-high 10. Four relievers held Seibu to one run the rest of the way.