NISHINOMIYA, Japan (Kyodo) -- Marquee Hanshin Tigers rookie Teruaki Sato and less heralded first-year teammate Takumu Nakano combined to drive in four runs in the Central League leaders' 6-0 win over the Hiroshima Carp on Wednesday.
Sato, a highly sought-after first-round pick in last year's draft, walked and scored the game's first run on a two-out second-inning single by Nakano, a sixth-round pick. The run, unearned because a Carp error prolonged the inning, was the first allowed this year by Hiroshima right-hander Masato Morishita (2-1).
Tigers veteran Yuki Nishi (2-1) struck out seven over eight innings while allowing four hits and a walk to earn the win.
The hosts began to pull away in the fifth after Jerry Sands drew a leadoff walk and Sato followed with his fourth home run, and his first at Koshien Stadium, the Tigers' iconic home park.
"Nothing he does surprises me," Tigers manager Akihiro Yano said of Sato. "I mean he hit one clean out (of Yokohama Stadium) the other day with an off-balance swing."
Jefry Marte added a two-run shot, his second homer of the year, in the fifth, and Sato singled in a run to complete the scoring in the seventh.
Morishita allowed five runs, four earned, on two walks and six hits over five innings.
At Tokyo Dome, Seishu Hatake (1-1) allowed a run over 8-1/3 innings in the Yomiuri Giants' 5-1 win over the Chunichi Dragons.
At Tokyo's Jingu Stadium, Yasutaka Shiomi and Tetsuto Yamada each drove in three runs in a 7-3 win over the DeNA BayStars.
At Sendai's Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi, Daichi Suzuki's ninth-inning sacrifice fly pulled the Rakuten Eagles even, earning the Pacific League leaders a 2-2 tie with the Lotte Marines.
At Fukuoka's PayPay Dome, 40-year-old lefty Tsuyoshi Wada (1-1) threw 6-2/3 scoreless innings to outduel 22-year-old Orix Buffaloes ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto (2-2) in a 4-1 SoftBank Hawks victory.
At MetLife Dome, Tatsuya Imai (1-1) allowed an unearned run over six innings, and three Seibu Lions relievers combined to strike out eight over the final three frames in their 2-1 win over the Nippon Ham Fighters.