Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Giants reliever Shun Ikeda earns first NPB victory

Kyodo

Second-year pro Shun Ikeda pitched two innings in relief and picked up his first win Saturday as the Yomiuri Giants beat the Chunichi Dragons 6-4.

Ikeda (1-1) gave up two hits and a walk in his 24-pitch outing at Nagoya Dome after taking the mound in the sixth inning. The 25-year-old left-hander replaced starter Tomoyuki Sugano, who allowed four runs (three earned) over five innings.

“I mainly pitch in relief, but I just thought how difficult it is to earn one win in Nippon Professional Baseball,” Ikeda said.

“The Dragons batters had a lot of momentum today, so I had a difficult time throwing, but I just wanted to get as many outs as possible.”

Hisayoshi Chono blasted an eighth-inning, tie-breaking homer and Kazuma Okamoto drove in three runs to lead the Yomiuri offense.

With the game tied 4-4 in the eighth, Chono slugged his ninth home run of the season off southpaw Joely Rodriguez (0-1), who is in his first NPB season. Daikan Yoh scored another run to double the lead.

Okamoto opened the scoring with a first-inning, two-run home run off lefty Shinnosuke Ogasawara. He drove in another run in the third after the Dragons tied it at 2-2 in the home half of the first inning.

Chunichi’s Dayan Viciedo and Ryosuke Hirata added back-to-back RBI singles to give the hosts the lead in the third, but Sugano singled in a run in the fourth to make it 4-4.

Ogasawara gave up four runs on eight hits and issued two walks in five innings. Rodriguez threw 2/3 innings and allowed two runs.

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