• Kyodo


Yomiuri Giants right-hander Tomoyuki Sugano was named Central League pitcher of the month for the third time this season on Wednesday, when NPB announced its final monthly honors for 2017.

Ryuhei Matsuyama of the Hiroshima Carp was named the CL’s monthly MVP — for position players. The Pacific Leagues awards both went to Seibu Lions, southpaw Yusei Kikuchi and first baseman Hotaka Yamakawa.

Sugano, who also won for May and July, claimed his fifth career honor, tying him with Hall of Famer Masaki Saito, his current pitching coach, for the most monthly honors by a Yomiuri hurler. Sugano had four wins with a 0.47 ERA since the start of September.

Yamakawa, who won his first award in August, led both leagues with 10 homers and a .739 slugging average. Teammate Kikuchi went 3-0 and threw one shutout, while posting an ERA of 0.29. It was his first career award despite his being a more deserving candidate in July (3-0, 0.81, one shutout) than the winner, Nao Higashihama of the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.

Matsuyama, a corner outfielder for the CL champion Carp in his 10th season as a pro, batted .408, while driving in a league-high 23 runs to win the award for the first time.

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