SENDAI, Japan - Tetsuya Utsumi pitched six scoreless innings on Saturday as the Yomiuri Giants beat the Rakuten Eagles 2-0 in Game 1 of the Japan Series.
Utsumi struck out three Rakuten batters, walked two and gave up six hits for the win. Scott Mathieson, Tetsuya Yamaguchi and Kentaro Nishimura each pitched an inning of relief at Kleenex Stadium Miyagi.
Hisayoshi Chono drove in a run on a single to right in the fifth inning and Shuichi Murata added a solo homer in the eighth inning.
Rookie pitcher Takahiro Norimoto struck out 10 but took the loss after giving up both runs on four hits over eight innings.
Masahiro Tanaka, who went 24-0 during the regular season, is expected to start Game 2 of the best-of-seven series for Rakuten on Sunday.
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