• Kyodo

  • SHARE

Rookie Masashi Ito hurled seven innings of four-hit ball Monday as the Hanshin Tigers edged the Hiroshima Carp 2-1 to move within 2½ games of the Central League lead.

Ito (9-7) struck out five without issuing a walk in a 90-pitch effort at Koshien Stadium as the Tigers edged closer to the CL-leading Yakult Swallows, who they face from Tuesday in a two-game series.

“It was a game we couldn’t lose, but I concentrated on my pitching,” said the left-hander after winning a pitching duel with Allen Kuri (12-8), who allowed two runs, one earned, both on sacrifice flies.

Ito had a perfect first four innings before getting out of a one-out, two-on jam in the fifth. He had Seiya Suzuki to deal with in the seventh after opening the frame giving up a single but had the cleanup hitting into a double-play with a breaking ball.

The Tigers took the lead in the third after another rookie, Teruaki Sato, opened by finally ending his two-month drought of an extra-base hit with a double, reaching third on a Suzuki error before coming home on a Seishiro Sakamoto fly.

Pinch-hitting Yoshio Itoi plated the decisive run with one out in the seventh with a bases-loaded fly to left that chased Kuri, who fanned 11 while allowing six hits and a walk during his 121-pitch outing.

Hisayoshi Chono had a pinch-hit RBI single in the eighth for the Carp, but their three-game winning run came to an end.

At MetLife Dome, Brandon Laird broke a tie with an RBI single in the seventh as the Chiba Lotte Marines moved back up to the top of the Pacific League with a 2-1 win over the Saitama Seibu Lions, trimming the magic number to six.

At Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi, Takayuki Kato (5-7) had a three-hit shutout as the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters eased to a 5-0 win over the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)