Messenger tosses four-hit shutout


Randy Messenger threw his second shutout of the season in a duel against Tomoyuki Sugano, leading the way as the Hanshin Tigers snapped a four-game losing streak in a 1-0 win over the Yomiuri Giants on Sunday afternoon.

Messenger (3-4) yielded just four hits — all singles — while striking out three and walking one batter at Koshien Stadium. Sugano lost his first decision in his eighth start of the season.

Tigers cleanup man Mauro Gomez led off the second with a single, which due to the strong seaside breeze just dropped in front of charging right fielder Hisayoshi Chono.

Gomez then made a gutsy head-first slide into third on Ryota Imanari’s ground single to left. One out later, catcher Kazunari Tsuruoka hit a liner to center to bring home Gomez for a 1-0 lead.

Sugano (6-1) scattered six hits and one run. He struck out nine and issued a walk.

Dragons 9, Carp 5

At Mazda Stadium, Kenta Asakura (2-1) won despite being charged for five runs, featuring Ryosuke Kikuchi’s grand slam, in the eighth inning as Chunichi beat CL leader Hiroshima.

Masahiko Morino had a two-run double to key a six-run first against Bryan Bullington (4-4).

BayStars 3, Swallows 2 (10)

At Yokohama Stadium, Aarom Baldiris had an eight-inning sacrifice fly that tied it and Shotaro Ide hit a two-out single down the right-field line in the 10th to give Yokohama its first walkoff win of the season and fourth consecutive victory.

Fighters 7, Buffaloes 0

At Kobe’s Hotto Motto Field, Luis Mendoza (2-5) threw four-hit ball over eight innings, Yang Dai-kang and Sho Nakata drove in four runs between them and Hokkaido Nippon Ham blanked Orix to move into third place.

Lefty Takahiro Matsuba (1-1) was tagged with the loss.

Eagles 12, Marines 2

At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Tohoku Rakuten banged out 20 hits, featuring three home runs including a three-run blast from new addition John Bowker, to win its first series since April 24.

Wataru Karashima (3-3) limited the damage to two runs in seven innings of the win. Chiba Lotte dropped into fourth place.

Hawks 7, Lions 1

At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Nobuhiro Matsuda had a tiebreaking three-run home run in the sixth inning as PL leader Fukuoka Softbank rallied past Yusei Kikuchi (1-6) and last-place Seibu.

Brain Wolfe (4-1) gave up one run in seven innings of the win. Takeya Nakamura homered for Seibu.