NISHINOMIYA, HYOGO PREF. – Tomoyuki Sugano paid Hanshin back for his only loss of the season with seven scoreless innings as the Yomiuri Giants held off the Tigers 1-0 in the Central League on Tuesday.
Before 46,227 at Koshien Stadium, Sugano (6-1) dueled Takumi Akiyama for six scoreless innings before Giants catcher Seiji Kobayashi’s bloop RBI double made it a 1-0 game in the seventh.
That lead was instantly endangered in the bottom half, when the first two Tigers batters reached, only for Sugano to register three strikeouts. The right-hander allowed six hits and two walks, while striking out six.
Akiyama was just as tough, but Yomiuri got to him with two outs in the seventh. After a Shingo Ishikawa double, Daisuke Nakai was walked on four straight to bring Kobayashi, a career .209 hitter, to the plate.
Kobyashi stroked a fat 2-2 fastball off the end of his bat, and it flopped down the right-field line for an opposite-field double.
Akiyama (3-3) allowed five hits and three walks, while striking out four.
The last time Sugano faced the Tigers, on May 9, he was going for his fourth straight shutout, but surrendered four runs in eight innings in a loss at Tokyo Dome.
“This was the first game of the series, and we were conscious of how important that is,” Sugano said. “Last time, Hanshin beat me and this time the batters — particularly Kobayashi — did their part to make sure we won.
“I did give away opportunities, so I have some issues to address. But when I did get into trouble, I had a little gas in reserve, so I could reach back for a little bit extra.”
Scott Mathieson worked a 1-2-3 eighth for the Giants and Arquimedes Caminero pitched the ninth to collect his 12th save.
Carp 3, Swallows 2
At Mazda Stadium, middle man Kazuki Yabuta (3-1) pitched three innings and three other relievers threw a scoreless inning each as Hiroshima came from behind to beat Tokyo’s Yakult.
Tomohiro Abe’s fifth-inning RBI single broke a 2-2 tie.
BayStars 9, Dragons 4
At Yokohama Stadium, Yoshitomo Tsutsugo returned from a four-game injury absence, going 3-for-3 with a homer, a double, a walk, four runs and three RBIs to power Yokohama past Chunichi.
Hawks 6, Marines 1
At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Nao Higashihama (5-1) allowed a run in seven innings, while Seiichi Uchikawa and Yuki Yanagita each homered as Fukuoka SoftBank overpowered Chiba Lotte.
Lions 2, Fighters 0
At Maebashi’s Shikishima Stadium, Shogo Akiyama led off the bottom of the first with a homer and Ryoma Nogami, who scattered six hits and a walk over six innings, combined with three relievers for a shutout as Seibu snapped Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s three-game winning streak.
Eagles 10, Buffaloes 6
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Tohoku Rakuten’s Zelous Wheeler homered twice, Carlos Peguero hit a three-run shot and Takero Okajima belted a three-run triple — all off Orix ace Chihiro Kaneko (5-2), who allowed a career-worst eight earned runs in 4-2/3 innings.