• Kyodo

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Former New York Yankees pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, who has returned to Japan after seven years in the major leagues, pitched seven scoreless innings to lead the Hiroshima Carp to a 2-1 win over the Tokyo Yakult Swallows on Sunday.

Kuroda, 40, scattered five hits, struck out five and walked one to win the decision in his first start of the season with the team he began his career with in 1997. It was his first win with Hiroshima since Sept. 27, 2007, against Yakult.

The right-hander, who never allowed consecutive hits and escaped unscathed with runners on in six innings, had a 96-pitch outing at the team’s home field at Mazda Stadium.

“The Hiroshima mound was fantastic,” said Kuroda, who stands out as the only Japanese player to notch double-digit wins for five consecutive years in the majors. Last season, he went 11-9 as the pillar of the Yankees’ rotation.

“I had a bit too much power today and my balance wasn’t that good, but I was able to pitch somehow. My teammates struggled to score, but I just stayed patient until I got some run support.”

Kuroda posted a 79-79 record over seven seasons, including his stint with the Los Angeles Dodgers, in the majors. He has a 183-168 record with one save in games in Japan and the major leagues.

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