Naruse hands Giants first loss in three weeks


Yoshihisa Naruse put the brakes on the speeding Yomiuri Giants on Saturday.

The Giants, who had 10 wins and three ties since May 5, were held to five hits in a 5-2 loss at QVC Marine Field.

Naruse (5-2) struck out seven in 8⅔ innings and came within two outs of his first shutout of the season. Saburo Omura, who played briefly for the Giants last season, provided the big blast for the hosts, a three-run shot in the third.

Yomiuri’s Hisayoshi Chono belted a two-run homer with one out in the top of the ninth, and Naruse was pulled after Hayato Sakamoto’s two-out single.

“To be honest, I felt uneasy at the start,” Naruse said. “I didn’t feel I made very good pitches to their top two guys in the order, Chono and (Takayuki) Terauchi. But I was able to strike them out, and that gave me a boost.

“I don’t have good velocity, so getting that many strikeouts is really nice. Giving up the homer to Chono and the hit to Sakamoto is the kind of thing I’ve done a lot this year. There’s no excuse for it.”

Yasuhiko Yabuta retired slugger Shuichi Murata on two pitches for his 14th save.

The Giants, who had not allowed more than two runs in a game since they beat Yokohama 8-5 on May 9, surrendered four runs in the third.

Yomiuri right-hander Hirokazu Sawamura (4-4) allowed a one-out single to Toshiaki Imae. Shunichi Nemoto’s two-out single set the table for Tadahito Iguchi, who doubled home Imae to break the ice.

Sawamura threw two fastballs to Omura, but the second never got to catcher Shinnosuke Abe. Omura deposited it in the left field stands to make it 4-0.

Imae singled and scored on an error in the seventh to make it 5-0.

Buffaloes 2, Carp 0

At Kobe’s Hotto Motto Field, Hayato Terahara (1-3) worked seven innings and combined with two relievers on a five-hit shutout, sending Hiroshima to its fifth straight defeat.

Aarom Baldiris singled to lead off the fourth and scored on rookie Takayoshi Kawabata’s two-out double to open the scoring against Kenta Maeda (4-3). Baldiris went 3-for-4 with an RBI for the Buffaloes.

Tigers 1, Hawks 1 (9)

At Fukuoka’s Yahoo Dome, Hanshin’s Matt Murton went 3-for-4 with a fourth-inning RBI and Fukuoka Softbank’s Toru Hosokawa evened the score with a fifth-inning single and the two teams played to a nine-inning tie.

The Tigers’ Tomoaki Kanemoto took sole possession of seventh place on Japan’s all-time hits list in the second inning, when his double gave him 2,481 career hits. On Friday night, he had moved into a tie for seventh with former Chunichi Dragons star Kazuyoshi Tatsunami. Kanemoto also doubled in the fourth.

Lions 8, Swallows 0

At Seibu Dome, Fumiya Nishiguchi (2-1) threw two-hit ball over eight innings and lefty Randy Williams completed the shutout as Seibu swept Tokyo Yakult and sent the Swallows to their seventh straight defeat.

The 39-year-old Nishiguchi struck out six and walked one.

The Lions’ Esteban German went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and plated the game’s first runs with a two-run single off Yakult ace Masanori Ishikawa (3-5).

Dragons 4, Fighters 2

At Sapporo Dome, Soma Yamauchi (5-2) allowed two runs on four hits and one walk for the win, while Chunichi scored three unearned runs off Hokkaido Nippon Ham starter Brian Wolfe (3-4).

The Central League-leading Dragons got an extra out in the fourth inning on an error by Fighters shortstop Masayoshi Kato, and scored three times after two were out. Takeshi Yamasaki opened the scoring with a sac fly and Motonobu Tanishige doubled in two more.

BayStars 8, Eagles 1

At Sendai’s Kleenex Stadium, Yokohama’s Kentaro Takasaki (2-4) allowed a run on eight hits in seven innings, and Alex Ramirez went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs to pace the BayStars.

The visitors scored three runs in seven innings off second-year southpaw Takahiro Shiomi (5-4). While Tohoku Rakuten relievers let the game get out of control over the final two innings, the Yokohama bullpen allowed just two base runners.