Kazuto Taguchi threw a six-hit shutout on Sunday to lead the Yomiuri Giants to a 4-0 win over the Yokohama BayStars.
Taguchi (4-1) was tagged with his first loss of the year a week ago but recovered with a 116-pitch effort and issued no walks at Yokohama Stadium.
The Giants led 4-0 by the fourth inning and when the lefty had runners on the corners with one out in the sixth, Takayuki Kajitani grounded into a double play to end Yokohama’s best scoring chance of the game.
“I think I can give myself full marks,” said Taguchi, who now leads the CL with a 1.60 ERA. “This is the first time I’ve thrown a shutout without issuing a walk.
“I was looking for a shutout from the (beginning), I’m always intent on setting a high target heading into games and I’m glad I did exactly what I wanted.”
Yomiuri grabbed the lead in the third on an RBI triple from Soichiro Tateoka, and added three more runs in the fourth off BayStars starter Shota Imanaga (1-3). Casey McGehee, Shingo Ishikawa and Daisuke Nakai all doubled for two runs before Hisayoshi Chono’s two-out RBI single completed the scoring.
Imanaga allowed four runs on seven hits, three walks and a hit batsman before he got the hook after the sixth inning following an 114-pitch effort.
Taguchi allowed two singles in the ninth, but came away unscathed.
Dragons 7, Carp 4
At Nagoya Dome, Chunichi won its fourth straight and swept Hiroshima in a three-game series.
Dayan Viciedo went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, driving in the go-ahead run in the third off Yuya Fukui (1-2) to hand the Dragons the lead for good.
Tigers 5, Swallows 4
At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Hanshin’s Shun Takayama and Hiroki Uemoto hit back-to-back solo shots to tie the game in the third and they both singled in a run in the seventh to again tie it up before Tokyo Yakult’s Josh Lueke (1-4) hurled a wild pitch to give up the decisive run.
Lions 7, Hawks 6
At Tokorozawa’s MetLife Dome, Seibu’s Takumi Kuriyama hit a walk-off solo homer off Sho Iwasaki (1-1) in the ninth.
Fukuoka SoftBank’s Nobuhiro Matsuda had a two-run double in the sixth to briefly give the Hawks the lead and tied it 6-6 in the top of the ninth with a solo shot.
Marines 3, Eagles 2
At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Chiba Lotte’s Daichi Suzuki went 3-for-4 and slugged a decisive two-run shot in the seventh off Tohoku Rakuten starter Takayuki Kishi (3-1).
Fighters 4, Buffaloes 1
At Sapporo Dome, Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s Sho Nakata plated the go-ahead run with a single in the fifth before doubling in two runs in the seventh behind solid seven innings from Luis Mendoza (2-2), who held Orix to a run on six hits.
The Buffaloes lost their fifth straight.