Sugiuchi three-hits BayStars to give Hawks share of Pacific League lead


The Softbank Hawks wrapped up their dominant interleague run with a 5-0 victory over the lowly Yokohama BayStars and moved into a share of the Pacific League lead on Sunday.

Toshiya Sugiuchi (7-1) scattered three hits in his first shutout of the season, while Munenori Kawasaki, Yuya Hasegawa and Nobuhiro Matsuda each hit solo homers.

Sugiuchi struck out seven and walked one at Yokohama Stadium on the last day of interleague play.

“I just tried to avoid unnecessary walks because this is a hitter’s ballpark. One home run after walking a batter or two would be big trouble,” the left-hander said.

Hidenori Tanoue singled in two runs in the second inning. BayStars ace Daisuke Miura (6-5) was roughed up for five runs in four innings.

Softbank had the best interleague record for the second straight year with an 18-5 mark. Yokohama has lost eight of its last nine games.

“Nippon Ham has been in the lead in our league for a while, but we’ll try to be on top at the end of the season by taking it one win at a time,” Sugiuchi said.

Marines 9, Giants 4

At Tokyo Dome, Naotaka Takehara and Tadahito Iguchi each homered and drove in six runs between them as Chiba Lotte snapped a three-game skid by beating Yomiuri.

Tsuyoshi Nishioka led off the game with a homer before the Giants tied it on Alex Ramirez’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first. Takehara had a go-ahead solo blast in the sixth and extended the lead with a two-run double to make it 4-1 in the seventh.

Naoyuki Shimizu (3-3) pitched one-run ball over seven innings. Iguchi had a leadoff shot in the eighth, which also featured Toshiaki Imae’s two-run blast. Tetsuya Utsumi (2-5) took the loss for Yomiuri, which ended a seven-game winning streak against Lotte dating back to 2007.

Swallows 6, Lions 5

At Jingu Stadium, Ryohei Kawamoto scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning on a throwing error by Takeya Nakamura as Yakult beat Seibu to extend its winning streak to seven games.

The Lions first baseman made an errant throw to the plate on Kazuki Fukuchi’s grounder with the bases loaded and one out, giving the Swallows their third straight walk-off victory.

Seibu tied the game in the top of the ninth on a two-out RBI double by Tatsuyuki Uemoto but ended up losing its fifth consecutive game.

Yakult’s Shinichi Takeuchi hit a two-run homer in the third.

Tigers 4, Eagles 2

At Koshien Stadium, Takashi Toritani, Craig Brazell and Kodai Sakurai drove in a run apiece as Hanshin held off Tohoku Rakuten.

Toritani opened the scoring with a single in the second inning after Sakurai’s one-out triple. Brazell and Sakurai added RBI singles in the third. Jin Nakatani had a pinch-hit two-run drive in the fifth for the Golden Eagles.

Dragons 8, Buffaloes 3

At Nagoya Dome, Kazuhiro Wada hit a grand slam and Yudai Kawai pitched six scoreless innings as Chunichi beat Orix for its third straight win.

Wada’s 17th home run of the season, off Yoshihisa Hirano (2-3), gave the Dragons a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Tony Blanco and Atsushi Fujii drove in two runs apiece in the eighth with a single and a double, respectively.

Carp 7, Fighters 5

At Mazda Stadium, Eishin Soyogi hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the sixth inning as Hiroshima handed Hokkaido Nippon Ham its first loss in three games.

Soyogi connected off Masaru Takeda (3-5) to make a winner of Kenta Maeda (5-5), who gave up five runs in six innings.

Katsuhiro Nagakawa picked up his Central League-leading 20th save. Go Kida hit a two-run home run in the third for the Carp.