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Baseball: Award-winning pitcher Sugiuchi to call it a career: source

Toshiya Sugiuchi (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Veteran pitcher Toshiya Sugiuchi confirmed Wednesday he will retire at the end of this season, his seventh with the Yomiuri Giants and 17th of his career.

The 37-year-old lefty, who has not pitched for the top team in three seasons, was making his way back from hip surgery he underwent in 2015, but his comeback had been slowed by lingering pain in his left shoulder.

"I thought it would be selfish if I continued (my career)," he said. "I have been rehabilitating for the past three years and I had a sense of guilt. I feel better now that I've decided to retire."

Sugiuchi started his professional career in 2002 with the Fukuoka-based Daiei Hawks (now SoftBank Hawks), where he posted a Pacific League-leading 18 wins in 2005. The same year he was named the league's MVP and winner of the prestigious Sawamura Award for the most outstanding pitcher.

In 2012 he joined Yomiuri as a free agent, and in his rookie season with the Tokyo club he threw a no-hitter. Sugiuchi posted double-digit wins in his first three seasons as a Giant, helping the team win the Central League title from 2012 to 2014.

He was a regular contributor for Japan on international duty, a member of the national team for the 2000 Sydney and 2008 Beijing Olympics as well as the 2006, 2009 and 2013 World Baseball Classic.

In his 17-year career, including his three-year layoff, he went 142-77 with a 2.95 ERA in 316 games.

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