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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sugiuchi maintains stellar form



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On a roll: Giants pitcher Toshiya Sugiuchi extended his scoreless innings streak to 24 on Tuesday, tossing seven shutout innings. Yomiuri defeated the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks 5-1. KYODO

Six days after throwing a no-hitter, Toshiya Sugiuchi of the Giants allowed just one hit in seven scoreless innings against his old team on Tuesday at Yahoo Dome.

Working in his former home park, Sugiuchi allowed just one hit and a walk in a 5-1 win over the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks that boosted Yomiuri to within half a game of first place in the Central League.

Sugiuchi (8-1) held the Hawks hitless until Tomoaki Egawa's two-out single in the fifth. The southpaw had gone 16 2/3 innings without allowing a hit and has now gone 24 innings without allowing a run. The CL's pitcher of the month for May, when he fanned 50 batters, started June by striking out eight.

"While I reminded myself to stay calm, I felt at first that last time's no-hitter was a burden to me," said Sugiuchi.

Edgar Gonzalez broke up a scoreless game with a fourth-inning sacrifice fly and made it 3-0 with a two-run home run in the sixth. Two batters later, Ryuichi Kajimae made it 4-0 with an RBI double.

Another Giants pitching streak came to an end in the ninth, when lefty Tetsuya Yamaguchi surrendered a homer to light-hitting Kenji Akashi. In his previous game, the reliever had equaled a CL record with 24 scoreless appearances to start the season.

Carp 12, Fighters 3

At Sapporo Dome, Hokkaido Nippon Ham starter and PL ERA leader Mitsuo Yoshikawa was ejected in the third inning for hitting Akihiro Higashide in the head with a pitch and things rapidly unraveled in a blowout loss to Hiroshima.

Kenji Tsuchiya (0-1), who was activated that day, gave up the lead two pitches later on a three-run homer by Masato Akamatsu. The 12 runs were the most scored by the Carp this season.

Lions 7, Dragons 4

At Seibu Dome, Takeya Nakamura belted a three-run homer, his fifth in four games, as Pacific League cellar dweller Seibu handed CL-leading Chunichi its third straight loss.

Lions right-hander Takayuki Kishi (5-5) allowed a run in seven innings for the win. The Dragons' Tony Blanco, the CL's player of the month for May, hit a consolation homer in the eighth. The two-run shot was his 100th in Japan.

Tigers 3, Eagles 1

At Sendai's Kleenex Stadium, Tohoku Rakuten's Koji Aoyama, the Pacific League's pitcher of the month for May, walked the first two batters he faced in the ninth before surrendering a tie-breaking single to Hanshin's Craig Brazell.

Tomoaki Kanemoto, without a home run since April 1, homered in Sendai, where he attended Tohoku Fukushi University. With the exception of 2009, he has hit at least one homer there every year since interleague play began in 2005.

Buffaloes 5, Swallows 0

At Osaka's Kyocera Dome, Evan MacLane (3-2) scattered five hits and a walk over six innings, and Hirotoshi Kitagawa belted a three-run homer as Orix snapped Tokyo Yakult's three-game winning streak.

The Buffaloes' Bobby Scales started the trouble in the fourth inning with a one-out double off Tatsuya Masubuchi (1-2), who issued a bases-loaded walk and run-scoring wild pitch in the inning. The Swallows have one tie and 10 losses in their last 11 games against Orix.

Marines 3, BayStars 2

At Chiba's QVC Marine Field, Chiba Lotte's Katsuya Kakunaka tied it 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI triple and scored the go-ahead run on Toshiaki Imae's sacrifice fly.

Marines starter Shunsuke Watanabe allowed a run in 5 2/3 innings. He left with two outs in the top of the sixth and a man on, but the bullpen faltered as Yokohama took the lead in the inning on a two-run single by Alex Ramirez.

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