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Igawa shows Yankees the way

Japanese lefty hurls six perfect innings to end Opening Day skid
April 3, 2008
Kei Igawa fired six perfect innings Thursday as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees snapped an eight-game Opening Day losing streak with a 4-0 victory over the visiting Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

Igawa (1-0), who went 2-3 with a 6.25 ERA in 14 games during three stints in the Major League last season, fanned seven while throwing 44 of 60 pitches for strikes.

The 28-year-old Scranton/Wilkes-Barre left-hander, who also went 6-5 with a 3.69 ERA for Class A Advanced Tampa and the Yankees last year, struck out the side in the first inning.

Relievers Scott Patterson, Edwar Ramirez and Jose Veras each tossed a scoreless frame to close out the Yankees' first Opening Day triumph since a 7-0 blanking of Rochester on April 8, 1999.

The IronPigs, playing their inaugural game, managed just one hit, a leadoff single to center field in the seventh by Brandon Watson. A year ago, Watson broke the International League record with a 43-game hitting streak.

The Yankees jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second on Jason Lane's leadoff homer and Nick Green's run-scoring double. Eric Duncan tripled home a run in the fourth and Justin Christian ripped an RBI single in the fifth to cap the scoring.

Lehigh Valley starter A.J. Happ (0-1) allowed three runs on five hits and a walk with four strikeouts over four innings.

Alan Friedman is a contributor to