NAGOYA – Yudai Ono tossed six scoreless innings and three relievers completed a four-hit shutout as the Chunichi Dragons swept the three-game series against the Hanshin Tigers with a 2-0 win on Thursday.
Ono (2-5), who earned his belated first win of the year on June 7, allowed just two hits against Hanshin after fanning seven while issuing three walks in an 112-pitch outing, picking up his first home victory of the year at Nagoya Dome.
“I’m sorry it took this long,” the lefty said. “I’m aware that our relievers have been pitching heavily and I needed to stay (on the mound) longer, but six innings was as far as I could go today. I left before blowing the game.”
Relievers Katsuki Matayoshi, Hitoki Iwase and Shinji Tajima each threw a scoreless inning to send the Tigers to their seventh straight defeat.
Tajima picked up his league-leading 21st saves.
“Other pitchers get me to the mound with things set up nicely,” the right-hander said. “Our position players get us early runs, too, and I’m also managing to hang in there.”
Ono, Chunichi’s Opening Day starter before suffering five straight losing decisions, was given a first-inning lead after Masahiro Araki, Yohei Oshima and Alex Guerrero all hit one-out singles off Tigers starter Randy Messenger (7-4).
The right-hander came through unscathed after letting the Dragons reach scoring positions three times, but gave up his second run in the seventh when Oshima plated Yota Kyoda from third with a two-out RBI single.
Messenger allowed up nine hits over seven innings. He issued a walk and struck out two in a 105-pitch outing, but had no help from the struggling Tigers offense which has scored just one run in the last four games.
Hawks 1, Fighters 0
At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Fukuoka SoftBank won its fourth straight after scoring the game’s only run, driven in by Seiichi Uchikawa in the first inning.
Hokkaido Nippon Ham dropped its fifth straight game.
Hawks starter Yuki Matsumoto (2-2) earned the win after throwing 5-2/3 scoreless innings
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