HIROSHIMA – Tomoyuki Sugano posted his second straight shutout win on Tuesday as the Yomiuri Giants moved within half a game of the Central League-leading Hiroshima Carp, beating them 1-0 after Casey McGehee provided the only run with a solo home run.
Sugano (3-0) allowed four hits and a walk while fanning seven in a 116-pitch outing, coming out on top of a pitching duel against Hiroshima’s Yusuke Nomura (1-1).
Right-hander Nomura, who led the CL with 16 wins last season, allowed a run on five hits and three walks over eight innings. He struck out three in a 110-pitch effort.
“It’s big for the team to win the first game of the top-of-the-league series,” said Sugano, who didn’t get a decision but allowed five runs against Carp on April 11 over 5-2/3 innings. “It was frustrating the way I got hit last time so I went to the mound pretty determined.”
McGehee had his third homer of the season with two outs in the fourth, connecting perfectly on Nomura’s 1-1 curveball over the plate as the ball flew into Mazda Stadium’s left-field stands.
“It’s really frustrating not being able to help the team win. That’s all,” said Nomura after the Carp’s seventh loss in their last 10 games.
Ryuhei Matsuyama had a two-out triple in the bottom of the inning as Hiroshima had a runner on third, but Tomohiro Abe flied out to right.
After three 1-2-3 innings from Sugano, base hits from Ryoma Nishikawa and Kosuke Tanaka in the eighth gave Hiroshima another chance to get back into the game, but Ryosuke Kikuchi hit straight at a diving McGehee at third.
“I knew I won’t be giving up any runs if I end each inning with good rhythm and tempo,” Sugano said. “I’m thankful for McGehee too, he helped me with a sound defense.”
Dragons 4, Swallows 2
At Toyohashi Stadium, Chunichi moved out of CL cellar after Alex Guerrero slugged a three-run shot in the second and Masato Matsui a solo homer in the sixth off Tokyo Yakult’s Hiroshi Yamanaka (0-2).
Jordan Norberto (1-0) earned his first win, allowing two runs over 7-2/3 innings.
BayStars 1, Tigers 0
At Koshien Stadium, Yokohama rookie Haruhiro Hamaguchi (2-0) tossed 6-2/3 shutout innings to outlast Hanshin’s Takumi Akiyama (1-1), who went 7-2/3 innings after allowing his only run in the first on Yoshitomo Tsutsugo’s RBI single.
Eagles 4, Marines 2
At Tokyo Dome, Wataru Karashima (3-0) held Chiba Lotte to a run over seven innings allowing two hits and Motohiro Shima went deep for PL-leading Tohoku Rakuten.
Buffaloes 5, Lions 4
At Kobe’s Hotto Motto Field, Orix’s Takahiro Okada had an RBI single and double before he broke a 4-4 tie with a solo shot in the bottom of the fifth.
Seibu was back in the game with four runs in the top of the inning, but eventually saw its four-game winning streak end.
Hawks 7, Fighters 5
At Kitakyushu Municipal Stadium, Akira Nakamura broke a 3-3 tie in the sixth before Yuki Yanagita had his second RBI single of the day as Fukuoka SoftBank led for good and sent Hokkaido Nippon Ham to its ninth straight defeat.
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