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John E. Gibson

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Tono pitches Giants past BayStars

by John E. Gibson (Aug 20, 2009)

If the first-place Yomiuri Giants win their third consecutive Central League title, they'll be able to thank the unlucky 'Stars.

The Giants continued to shine against Yokohama this season, downing the ever-fading BayStars 4-0 before 42,940 Tokyo Dome on Wednesday for their 13th win in 17 meetings.

Shun Tono (6-6) worked eight scoreless innings, scattering three hits and two walks (in the same inning), while fanning a half-dozen as the Giants got an early lead and cruised.

Michihiro Ogasawara and Shigeyuki Furuki each had two-run singles to provide all the offense as Yomiuri took care of business against the CL's last-place team.

The fifth-year righty picked up his second win in as many starts, beating Yokohama ace Daisuke Miura (9-8).

"He's a good pitcher so I just didn't want to give up the first run," said Tono, who had gone just five innings in three of his last four starts but was ready to close it out before being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the eighth.

"Recently I've been taken out after five innings, so I just wanted to make sure I went more than seven innings today," he said.

"I had thrown a lot of pitches [a season-high 125] but I was ahead in the count a lot and didn't feel like I worked all that hard."

Tono didn't allow a runner past second base until the eighth inning; pinch-hitter Yuta Naito doubled to lead off the frame but was eventually stranded at third.

"Today he hung in there and, while he had the one inning in which he walked a couple of guys, he didn't back down and competed well. That was good to see," said Yomiuri skipper Tatsunori Hara.

For the second straight night, a Yokohama error helped the Giants open the scoring. Tono, coming in hitting .061, led off with a double to right-center field. Dan Johnson fielded Hayato Sakamoto's grounder to third with no trouble but threw wildly to first, putting runners on first and second.

Miura got Tetsuya Masumoto to tap out, but Ogasawara slapped a high forkball to the wall along the left-field line to put Yomiuri up 2-0.

"I didn't come through the first time I had a chance to drive in a run [in the first inning], so I wanted to make up for that," said Ogasawara, who is playing with a bad left leg.

Yokohama is without injured third baseman Shuichi Murata, and skipper Tomio Tashiro said about Johnson's error: "We know there's a certain risk putting him at third, but what can we do? We have to have him in our lineup to give opposing teams something to think about."


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