Matsuoka tosses shutout against Giants


Ninth-year right-hander Kenichi Matsuoka threw his first-career shutout, Tetsuto Yamada homered and the last-place Tokyo Yakult Swallows blanked the Central League-winning Yomiuri Giants 1-0 on Wednesday night.

Matsuoka (3-3) retired the first 11 batters he faced before issuing a two-out walk to Hayato Sakamoto in the fourth at Tokyo Dome. The right-hander scattered three hits, all singles, with two walks over nine innings while striking out nine.

Yamada went deep to left off Nobutaka Imamura with one out in the fifth. Second-year lefty Imamura (1-1) held the damage to one run in six innings but was tagged with his first career loss.

Carp 7, Tigers 2

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Yusuke Nomura (12-6) yielded two runs over six innings, Shogo Kimura had a two-run blast for his first home run in three seasons, and third-place Hiroshima routed second-place Hanshin. Ryosuke Kikuchi had a three-run triple to key a four-run fifth.


Buffaloes 7, Fighters 1

At Sapporo Dome, the Fighters’ Yuki Saito (0-1), who had been struggling with right shoulder pain, got a rude awakening in his first start of the year after being tagged for six runs in four-plus innings in Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s defeat to Orix. Yuki Nishi (9-8) limited the damage to one run in 6⅓ innings for the win.

Lions 2, Hawks 1

At Seibu Dome, Lions captain Takumi Kuriyama delivered a tiebreaking leadoff homer off Brian Falkenborg (0-3) in the eighth inning, lifting Seibu past Fukuoka Softbank. Dennis Sarfate (8-1) escaped a jam with a runner on third and two outs in the eighth.