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Baseball: Rookie Nishi beats Giants for Tigers' 6th straight win

Junya Nishi of the Hanshin Tigers pitches against the Yomiuri Giants in a Central League game at Tokyo Dome on May 1, 2022. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Rookie Junya Nishi struck out eight over seven innings to lead the Central League's last-place Hanshin Tigers to their sixth straight win, 8-1 over the Yomiuri Giants on Sunday.

    At Tokyo Dome, Nishi (1-0) allowed one run on a walk and three hits. He also went 1-for-3 with an infield single.

    "We knew he had good stuff as a pitcher, this was simply the proof," Tigers manager Akihiro Yano said. "He's the real deal."

    The Giants, who lost captain Hayato Sakamoto to a knee injury the day before, took a 1-0 lead on new import Adam Walker's fourth home run, but the Tigers came from behind in a two-run sixth.

    Kento Itohara, who had four hits and a walk, tied it with an RBI single, and catcher Ryutaro Umeno put Hanshin in front.

    Forty-year-old Yoshio Itoi sealed the win when he batted for the 20-year-old Nishi and drove in two runs in Hanshin's four-run eighth.

    The Tigers started the season by losing 15 of their first 16 games.

    Elsewhere, Yuya Yanagi (3-1) worked seven innings and drove in a run in the Chunichi Dragons' 4-0 win over the Hiroshima Carp.

    In the Pacific League, Hotaka Yamakawa broke a ninth-inning tie with his ninth home run to power the Seibu Lions to a 2-1 win over the Orix Buffaloes, while the Rakuten Eagles beat the SoftBank Hawks 2-1 in a six-inning rain-shortened game, and the Nippon Ham Fighters crushed the Lotte Marines 9-3.

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