Sugano Loses First Game

After winning 13 straight games to begin the season, the Yomiuri Giants Tomoyuki Sugano lost his first game of the year. The Hiroshima Carp jumped on Sugano for three runs in the fourth to take an early 4-0 lead. Yoshihiro Maru and Zealous Wheeler tried to take the game back by hitting hit back to back homeruns off Carp closer Geronimo Franzua to close the gap to 4-3, but it was too little too late. Aren Kuri was the winning pitcher for the Carp, tossing eight innings and only giving up one run. He improved his record to 6-5. Sugano dropped to 13-1 with his ERA climbing to 2.02, the first time it has risen into the twos.

The Giants have virtually clinched an appearance in the Japan Series with a 12.5 game lead over second place Hanshin Tigers. Only the winner of the Central Division will appear in the Japan Series this year. The Central will probably see a four game playoff between the Softbank Hawks and the Chibba Lotte Marines. The Hawks have a two game lead over the Marines with the top two teams playing in a four game playoff. The winner of the Division gets a 1-0 lead to begin the series. The Rakuten Golden Eagles and Seibu Lions find themselves 6 games behind the Marines for the second and last playoff spot this year.

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