Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Giants' Shun Yamaguchi silences Swallows in eight scoreless innings

Seiji Kobayashi provides big offensive spark, finishing 4-for-5 with three RBIs


Shun Yamaguchi tossed eight innings of one-hit ball on Tuesday night as the Yomiuri Giants pounded the Tokyo Yakult Swallows 9-0 in a battle for the Central League’s top spot.

Yamaguchi (4-0) struck out six and was backed by excellent fielding at Jingu Stadium, while Seiji Kobayashi went 4-for-5 with three RBIs and a run scored to help lead the Giants to their fourth straight win and third straight shutout.

Hayato Sakamoto doubled off the first pitch of the game and scored on Christian Villanueva’s sacrifice fly to set the pace. Kobayashi singled in the third and crossed the plate on a pair of wild pitches from Juri Hara (2-1) before Yoshiyuki Kamei’s RBI double in the fourth made it 3-0.

In the sixth, pinch hitter Tsuyoshi Ueda bounced a grounder off Yamaguchi’s glove, delaying the right-hander’s throw to first and resulting in the Swallows’ first hit of the game.

Kobayashi drove in three runs in the last two innings, while Yoshihiro Maru led off the ninth with a solo home run before final RBIs from Daiki Masuda and pinch hitter Takumi Ohshiro.

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