NAGOYA – Kazuto Taguchi threw a two-hitter for his first career shutout on Wednesday as the Yomiuri Giants eased to a 5-0 win over the Chunichi Dragons, extending their winning streak to five.
Taguchi (7-6), who has won four straight decisions, held the Dragons to two singles and a hit batter, striking out seven in a 116-pitch outing while driving in a run in the fourth.
“Having good tempo in pitching was the most positive thing. I faced them determined not to give up a run,” the southpaw said. “I thought my teammates would be able to get into a rhythm, too, if I could do my job properly.”
The 20-year-old faced his only scare in the first, when leadoff man Yohei Oshima reached on a throwing error and advanced on a sacrifice. But Anderson Hernandez struck out swinging when Taguchi buried a 3-2 changeup and Dayan Viciedo went down looking.
Chunichi lefty Yudai Ono (5-6) worked around two singles in the second, but could not escape trouble in the fourth. After a single by Hayato Sakamoto and an error, Garrett Jones broke the ice with a one-out RBI single. With two outs and first base open, the Dragons walked catcher Seiji Kobayashi to pitch to Taguchi, but the Giants pitcher put the ball in play for an RBI single.
Shuichi Murata put the game out of reach in the fifth with his 13th home run, a three-run shot after Sakamoto started the trouble again with a one-out single.
Ono allowed five runs, three earned, on eight hits and a walk in five innings, while striking out two.
BayStars 4, Tigers 3
At Yokohama Stadium, the BayStars’ Shun Yamgauchi (7-4) won his first game since hurting his ankle in the bullpen on July 9, holding Hanshin to two runs in seven innings, while Takayuki Kajitani broke a 1-1 tie in the first with a two-run homer and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo followed with his Japan-best 33rd home run.
Swallows 6, Carp 4
At Jingu Stadium, Tokyo Yakult came from behind twice to snap a seven-game losing skid. Tetsuto Yamada’s 31st homer of the season, a two-run, seventh-inning blast, broke a tie off Hiroshima’s Bradin Hagens (5-2).
Eagles 6, Buffaloes 1
At Sendai’s Kobo Stadium Miyagi, Tohoku Rakuten’s Yoshinao Kamata (6-3) won his fifth straight decision, holding Orix to a run in 6⅓ innings.
Japhet Amador hit a three-run shot in the first off Nobuyoshi Yamada (1-3), and Zelous Wheeler also went deep for two runs in the third.
Hawks 7, Lions 3
At Saitama’s Seibu Prince Dome, Fukuoka SoftBank’s opening-day pitcher Tadashi Settsu (1-2) earned his first win of the year, giving up three runs over six innings against Seibu.
Kenji Akashi broke a 2-2 tie in the fourth with a two-out flair single off Felipe Paulino (0-6). The right-hander blew a 2-1 lead in the inning by walking two batters, hitting another and committing an error.
Fighters 10, Marines 2
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s Kenshi Sugiya broke open a close game with a three-run triple in the fifth as the Fighters routed Chiba Lotte.