Shoichi Ino struck out a season-high nine over seven innings and two relievers provided perfect relief as the DeNA BayStars whipped the Chunichi Dragons 9-0 on Saturday.
Ino (4-4), who allowed five hits, walked a batter and hit one, struck out four of the first five hitters he faced before the BayStars opened the scoring in the top of the third.
Masashi Kuwahara, who went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and three runs, got things going in the third against second-year lefty Shinnosuke Ogasawara (2-4).
Kuwahara doubled with one out, Hiroyasu Tanaka singled him home and wound up on second. Yoshitomo Tsutsugo's RBI single made it 2-0.
The Dragons had a chance to tie in the fourth after a leadoff single and a hit batsman, but Ino struck out the next two batters before escaping via a groundout.
"The number of games that are more important will increase in the second half of the season, so I want to throw as many innings as I can," said Ino, who leads DeNA in innings pitched this season with 94-1/3.
With that threat out of the way, Kuwahara hit his eighth homer of the year in the top of the fifth, and the ceiling came crashing down on Ogasawara in a six-run BayStars sixth.
Two outs after a Jose Lopez leadoff double, No. 7 hitter Takayuki Kajitani was walked intentionally ahead of the pitcher's spot -- No. 8 in manager Alex Ramirez's lineup. But Ino reached on an infield single and No. 9 hitter Toshihiko Kuramoto singled in two, and Tanaka and Lopez each singled in two more to ice the game.
Lefty Edwin Escobar, acquired in a trade from the Nippon Ham Fighters on Thursday, retired all three batters he faced in the eighth. Right-hander Shingo Hirata repeated the feat in the ninth to close out the five-hit shutout.
The Dragons' loss, before 32,280 at Nagoya Dome, snapped their four-game winning streak.
Carp 8, Swallows 2
At Jingu Stadium, Kazuki Yabuta (8-1) allowed two runs in seven innings and Hiroshima defensive wiz Ryosuke Kikuchi hit two of his team's four homers as last-place Yakult suffered its seventh straight defeat.
Giants 8, Tigers 1
At Koshien Stadium, Tetsuya Utsumi (2-5) went five innings to earn his first win since April 5, while Daisuke Yamai went 3-for-5 with a double, a homer, two runs and three RBIs as Yomiuri pounded Hanshin.
Hawks 5, Fighters 2
At Sapporo Dome, Kodai Senga (7-2) who missed most of June due to back stiffness, threw six innings for his first win since May, while Yuki Yanagita homered for the third straight game, hitting his 23rd, a two-run shot in the first, as SoftBank held off struggling Nippon Ham.
Marines 6, Buffaloes 2
At Hotto Motto Field Kobe, Yuki Karakawa (4-7) allowed two runs in 7-1/3 innings and Jimmy Paredes' RBI single broke a 1-1, sixth-inning tie, while Shogo Nakamura drove in three runs in Lotte's win over Nippon Ham.
Eagles 4, Lions 2
At Kobo Park Miyagi, Manabu Mima threw six scoreless innings for Rakuten and Japhet Amador delivered a pinch-hit, two-run, eighth-inning double that broke a 2-2 tie in a win over Seibu.