Sugano Rights Ship As Giants Break Slide

Sugano rights ship as Giants break slideTomoyuki Sugano held the Tokyo Yakult Swallows to a pair of runs over his seven innings as Yomiuri halted a five-game skid with a 5-2 win on Tuesday.
Shuichi Murata put the Giants on top with a two-run single in the third inning and added another RBI that helped back Sugano (8-6), who struck out nine en route to his eighth victory of the season.

The right-hander was a real “Jeckyll and Hyde” when comparing his pitches in the first half of his outing to the way he threw in the second half.

The Giants staked him to a two-run lead in the first inning, but he had runners on the bases in every frame early on in the game. The breakthrough for the Swallows came in the third inning.

With one out, Sugano was ahead in the count against opposing pitcher Toshihiro Sugiura (2-2), who slapped a curve into center for a single. The next two batters walked to load the bases.

Tetsuto Yamada then took a Sugano slider into left field for a two-run single to tie the score, and the Giants ace had fired more than 61 pitches by the third inning.

But he started to turn things around in the fourth inning, and finished with a strong effort.

“Throwing 120 pitches in seven innings isn’t going to get it done, but I got better as I went along,” Sugano said.

Carp clinch playoff spot

Meanwhile, the Hiroshima Carp locked up a Central League Climax Series playoff spot as Ryuhei Matsuyama went deep in the second inning and Tomohiro Abe homered in a five-run seventh inning to seal an 8-2 win over the Yokohama DeNA BayStars.

It’s the first time the Carp will appear in the CLCS since 2014 and the third time in team history.

The front-running Carp reduced their number for the league title to 12.