Kazuma Okamoto blasted a two-run home run to give the Yomiuri Giants the lead and Gerardo Parra drove in three runs in a 7-1 win over the Hanshin Tigers in the Central League on Sunday.
Playing behind closed doors at Tokyo Dome, the Giants completed a three-game sweep of the Tigers in their first series of a season that was delayed for three months due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Dominican right-hander Angel Sanchez, coming off two solid seasons in South Korea, pitched 5⅔ innings and picked up the win in his Nippon Professional Baseball debut. He allowed four hits, including a leadoff home run, and four walks, while fanning one.
Okamoto, the Giants' cleanup man, hit his first homer of the season off lefty Onelki Garcia (0-1) in the fourth when the Giants were trailing by a run. Parra singled in a run and scored before captain Hayato Sakamoto capped the five-run inning with an RBI single.
In the fifth, Okamoto had his third hit of the day and Parra homered for the second straight day, a two-run shot that put the game out of reach.
"I think we got off to a great start, and each and every player fulfillled their roles," Giants manager Tatsunori Hara said.
Sanchez, who made his major league debut in 2017 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, joined the SK Wyverns in 2018 and claimed 17 wins last season. He signed with the Giants during the offseason.
At Jingu Stadium, righty Kodai Umetsu (1-0) pitched seven scoreless innings and Yota Kyoda opened the scoring with a second-inning, two-run homer in the Chunichi Dragons' 3-0 win over the Tokyo Yakult Swallows.
In Yokohama, Toshiro Miyazaki doubled in two runs in the bottom of the ninth to give the Yokohama DeNA BayStars a 2-1 sayonara win over the Hiroshima Carp. Hiroshima rookie Masato Morishita threw seven scoreless innings in his pro debut.
In the Pacific League, Takahiro Okada went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Yoshinobu Yamamoto (1-0) fanned 10 of the 26 batters he faced over 8 innings as the Orix Buffaloes defeated the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 4-0 and claimed their first win of the season.
At Fukuoka's PayPay Dome, Seiya Inoue's second-inning grand slam lifted the Chiba Lotte Marines to a 5-1 win over reigning Japan Series champion Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.
At MetLife Dome in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters lineup combined for 15 hits against the Saitama Seibu Lions' rookie starter Kaito Yoza, and three relievers in a 12-2 victory over the defending two-time PL champions.