Right-hander Michael Peoples threw six shutout innings and got the win in his first start of the season Monday as the DeNA BayStars held off the Chunichi Dragons 2-1.
The 29-year-old American struck out five, walked none and limited the Dragons to four hits in the series opener between the Central League's bottom two sides at Vantelin Dome Nagoya.
"The defense played really well behind me. Anytime they do that, it's all you can ask for," Peoples said. "They had a lot of lefties, so we threw a lot of cutters, a lot of changeups away. (Catcher Hiroki) Minei did a really good job calling behind the plate and it was pretty easy once we got into a rhythm."
Peoples (1-0) also scored the first run of the game, reaching on an error and coming home on a Tyler Austin groundout against Chunichi starter Kodai Umetsu (0-1) in the top of the third.
Umetsu allowed an unearned run over five innings on two hits, two walks and a hit batsman while fanning four.
Keita Sano doubled the lead in the sixth when he got hold of a 1-1 forkball from righty Keisuke Tanimoto and sent it long over the right field wall.
The Dragons cut the lead in the eighth when Akira Neo tripled, then scored on a Yohei Oshima groundout.