Tomoyuki Sugano blanked the Tokyo Yakult Swallows on four hits for his second shutout in a week as the Yomiuri Giants won 8-0 in the Central League on Wednesday.
Sugano (3-0), who shut out the Hanshin Tigers last Wednesday on six hits, struck out seven in his 125-pitch outing at Jingu Stadium, where he had never won. His team gave the right-hander a comfortable lead by pounding Swallows’ starter Shuhei Tateyama (0-2) for six runs over five innings on 11 hits.
“The position players got me runs early in the game. I was able to pitch thinking about how to distribute my energy over the whole game,” Sugano said.
The 27-year-old said he “knew something was going to happen” at his bogey ground after facing a scare in the bottom of the ninth, giving up two walks and an infield single to load the bases with two outs, but struck out pinch hitter Tsuyoshi Ueda to wrap things up.
A wild pitch handed the Giants the first run in the second. Yoshiyuki Kamei doubled with one out and Shuichi Murata sent him to third while reaching second himself, aided by a catching error from right-fielder Yuhei Takai, before Tateyama threw past the catcher with his first pitch on Seiji Kobayashi. The catcher then doubled the lead with a flare to shallow left.
Murata again reached second to open the fourth and after a sacrifice bunt from Kobayashi, Sugano hit his first of two singles on the day to plate the Giants’ third.
Tateyama allowed three runs in his final fifth despite easing to two outs. After Luis Cruz blasted a solo shot, Kamei and Murata both reached and Kobayashi drove them in with a double. Tateyama continued to struggle, loading the bases with a single to Sugano and a walk, but managed to come off the mound with a flyout to right.
Tateyama gave up six runs, all earned, on 11 hits, a walk and a hit batsman, while striking out four.
Hisayoshi Chono led the sixth with his third double of the game off reliever Kyohei Muranaka before Cruz drove in his team’s seventh run with a one-out single, and Hayato Sakamoto added another in the ninth with an RBI single off Kenichi Matsuoka, the Giants’ 18th and final hit on the night.
BayStars at Tigers — ppd.
Dragons at Carp — ppd.
Buffaloes 4, Fighters 3 (10)
At Kyocera Dome, Yoshio Itoi hit Orix’s first home run of the season with a three-run homer in the fifth and Yuya Oda hit a walk-off RBI single off Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s Hirotoshi Takanashi (1-1) in the 10th to snap his team’s five-game losing skid.
Marines 5, Eagles 4
At Kobo Stadium Miyagi, Chiba Lotte’s Ikuhiro Kiyota hit a game-tying RBI single in the seventh before Tohoku Rakuten reliever Kenji Tomura issued a bases-loaded walk in the eighth to hand Lotte a fifth run.
Hawks 5, Lions 1
At Omiya Stadium, Kodai Senga (2-0) threw his first complete game and held Seibu to a run on six hits. Seiichi Uchikawa opened the scoring for Fukuoka SoftBank with an RBI single off Ryoma Nogami (1-2) in the second.
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