HIROSHIMA – The Yomiuri Giants beat the first-place Hiroshima Carp for just the second time in 12 games this season behind seven shutout innings from Kazuto Taguchi in a 3-0 victory Tuesday.
The Giants ended a four-game skid as Taguchi (7-2) held the Carp to four hits and a walk before passing on the baton to Scott Mathieson and Arquimedes Caminero, who closed out the game at Mazda Stadium to earn his 16th save.
Taguchi lowered his Central League-leading ERA to 2.08 and is tied for most victories at seven with four others, including teammate Tomoyuki Sugano. Taguchi is also second in the league with a .778 winning percentage.
Hiroshima had a three-game winning streak snapped and was blanked for the fifth time this year, the first since May 7.
“I had my back against the wall a few times but managed to grind it out and keep them off the scoreboard,” Taguchi said. “I was careful about giving up extra-base hits, especially when they had runners on.”
Taguchi was backed at the plate by three hits from Hayato Sakamoto, who drove in the opening run in the sixth. Sakamoto stole second and came home on Shuichi Murata’s double as the Giants went up 2-0.
The visitors added another run in the eighth with Yoshiyuki Kamei’s pinch-hit, two-out RBI single.
“I’ve got a great team behind me with Seiji (Kobayashi) offering so much leadership and guidance from behind the plate,” Taguchi said. “I hope I can pay them back in the second half of the season.
“We still have a few games before the All-Star break. We need to win as many of them as we can.”
Dragons 7, Swallows 2
At Nagoya Dome, Alex Guerrero homered and Yota Kyoda had three hits and two RBIs as Chunichi beat last-place Tokyo Yakult to halt a three-game slide.
Tigers at BayStars — ppd.
Hawks 4, Buffaloes 0
At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Shuta Ishikawa (4-2) threw seven scoreless innings and combined with two relievers to two-hit Orix as Fukuoka SoftBank won its third straight, becoming the first team in either league to hit the 50-win mark.
Eagles 5, Marines 1
At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Tohoku Rakuten’s Takahiro Norimoto (9-2) struck out seven against Lotte to pick up his PL-leading ninth win as the game was called after the top of the sixth inning due to rain.
Lions 4, Fighters 1
At Tokyo Dome, Takeya Nakamura went deep for the second night in a row and Ernesto Mejia also homered as Seibu defeated Hokkaido Nippon Ham at the Fighters’ old ballpark.
Nippon Ham’s Shohei Otani was hitless in three at-bats in his second start since returning from injury.