Baseball: Tsutsugo belts first home run of season in win for Pirates

Yoshitomo Tsutsugo hit his first home run of the year, a two-run shot, to help power the Pittsburgh Pirates to an 8-5 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.

The high fly to left center came in the Pirates' four-run first inning of their doubleheader nightcap, after a 9-2 loss in the opener of their National League Central clash at Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park.

Bryan Reynolds put the Pirates on the board with a solo homer and Ke'Bryan Hayes doubled to chase right-hander Dauri Moreta (0-1).

With two outs, Tsutsugo whiffed at a fastball before blasting a high 1-2 heater from reliever Phillip Diehl, sending it 118 meters (387 feet) into the stands.

"I've been plugging away, doing the things I can without panicking, so I had a feeling that the home runs were going to start coming," Tsutsugo said.

Tsutsugo, who led Japan's Central League in home runs in 2016 for the DeNA BayStars, went 1-for-4 with a walk. He drew a walk in his only plate appearance as a pinch hitter in the opener.

At Wrigley Field, Seiya Suzuki went 1-for-3 with a walk in the Chicago Cubs' 7-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, then went 1-for-4 in the doubleheader nightcap, a 6-2 loss. Afterward, he expressed some frustration with his poor form.

"In the final accounting, I got hits, but they didn't feel good, and the at-bats weren't that good," Suzuki said. "I have to do a few different things. Ideally, I would just be getting good swings and adjusting from there."

At Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, Shohei Ohtani went 1-for-4 in the Los Angeles Angels' 7-3 loss to the Washington Nationals.

© Kyodo News