Sawamura flirts with first shutout of career


Yomiuri Giants rookie Hirokazu Sawamura came within two outs of his first career shutout but settled for a complete-game 3-1 victory over the Hiroshima Carp on Saturday.

Sawamura (5-6), who was drafted by Yomiuri in the first round out of Chuo University, held his opponents to just three hits, struck out eight and walked one in a 115-pitch outing at Tokyo Dome.

The 23-year-old right-hander put zeroes up on the scoreboard through the first eighth frames until Yoshihiro Maru hit a sac fly with one out and runners on second and third in the ninth.

Alex Ramirez opened the scoring with a sac fly in the sixth inning and Shinnosuke Abe followed with a two-run homer over the right-field wall.

The Giants leapfrogged the Carp, who lost their third in a row and dropped into fifth place, into fourth. Dioni Soriano (0-1) took the loss.

Tigers 6, Swallows 0

Dragons 9, BayStars 4


Fighters 7, Eagles 1

At Asahikawa Starffin Stadium, Makoto Kaneko, Shota Ono and Tomohiro Nioka each hit longballs in support of Masaru Takeda, who limited the damage to one run in 7⅔ innings in Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s win over Tohoku Rakuten.

Kaneko and Ono hit back-to-back solo blasts to rally Nippon Ham to a 2-1 lead in the fourth and Nioka rang Rakuten’s bell with a grand slam in a pinch hit appearance in the fifth.

Takeda (7-5) scattered eight hits with five strikeouts and one walk. Ryohei Isaka (0-2) yielded four runs in four-plus innings.

Hawks 4, Marines 0

At Yahoo Dome, Toshiya Sugiuchi pitched eighth scoreless innings en route to his 100th career win and Nobuhiko Matsunaka hit a two-run drive in a 2-for-4 outing as PL-leader Softbank downed Chiba Lotte.

Lions 7, Buffaloes 4

At Seibu Dome, Takeya Nakamura broke open the game with his Japanese-baseball leading 23rd home run and Jose Fernandez homered and went 4-for-4 against Orix as Seibu snapped a six-game skid.