NISHINOMIYA, HYOGO PREF. – Shintaro Fujinami threw a three-hit shutout for the Central League-leading Hanshin Tigers in a 9-0 win over the Tokyo Yakult Swallows on Friday.
Before 42,411 in the Tigers’ first game at Koshien Stadium home since a 5-0 loss to the Swallows on Aug. 2, Fujinami (11-6) allowed three singles and a walk, while striking out eight. Each year, the Tigers are unable to play at Koshien for the bulk of August, when the National Summer High School Championship is held there.
“The fielders made some good plays behind me, put the first run on the board and then delivered the knockout punch,” Fujinami said. “Overall my balance was good tonight, and my fastball had good run to it. That being said, I think my pitching could have been a little more solid.”
The Tigers, who had lost their previous two games, opened the scoring in the second. Third baseman Shingo Kawabata’s fielding error allowed Mauro Gomez to reach with no outs against right-hander Orlando Roman (2-4). Back-to-back singles by Matt Murton and Ryota Imanami set the table and Hayato Ito brought Gomez home with a sacrifice fly.
Walks by Ito and Fujinami put two on with one out in the fifth, and Takashi Toritani singled in a run. Kosuke Fukudome’s two-out walk loaded the bases and Gomez singled in two more off Roman.
Two seventh-inning walks from Yakult reliever Masato Furuno and a Fukudome single set up another Hanshin run in the seventh, and the Tigers completed the rout with a four-run eighth.
The win knocked the second-place Swallows three games off the pace.
Giants 7, Dragons 0
At Tokyo Dome, Yomiuri broke out of a 22-inning scoring drought in a six-run fourth inning, with Shuichi Murata’s three-run home run capping the rally against Chunichi’s Drew Naylor (2-2).
Rookie Hayato Takagi (8-8) struck out eight in seven innings to earn the win as the Giants snapped a five-game losing streak and moved into second place.
BayStars 6, Carp 3
At Yokohama Stadium, Yoshitomo Tsutsugo slugged a grand slam and Jose Lopez hit his second two-run homer in two nights, while Kazuki Mishima (5-4) allowed two runs in five innings to earn the win as Yokohama defeated Hiroshima to snap a six-game losing streak.
Lions 3, Eagles 2
At Sendai’s Kobo Stadium, Ken Togame (9-7) allowed two runs in seven innings to earn the victory as Seibu broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth against Tohoku Rakuten.
The Lions rally started on a Ryota Wakiya leadoff walk, and Hideto Asamura’s run-scoring double pulled Seibu ahead.
Fighters 11, Hawks 1
At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Brandon Laird’s 24th home run, a two-run blast in the second, brought Hokkaido Nippon Ham from behind and the visitors iced the win over league-leading Fukuoka Softbank in the fifth on Kensuke Tanaka’s grand slam.
Marines 6, Buffaloes 1
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Stadium, Hideaki Wakui (11-8) allowed a run in seven innings, and Daichi Suzuki, Shogo Nakamura and Tatsuhiro Tamura reached on three consecutive run-scoring hits in the fourth as Chiba Lotte defeated Orix.
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