April 17th, 2009
Hiroshima Toyo Carp 1
Tokyo Yakult Swallows 6
Streak: Won 2 Last 5: WLLWW
A two homerun night from D’Antona and seven decent innings from Ishikawa propelled Tokyo to victory in their first matchup with the Carp of the season.
Ishikawa went 7 innings, and while the Carp found him fairly easy to hit racking up nine hits, they couldn’t get the big hit against him, as he gave up the solitary run (a Seabol solo shot) in the 6th inning.
The Swallows caught a break before the game had even started, as the game was due to see Hiroshima ace Colby Lewis’ third start of the year, but injury meant that Tokyo faced the far less scary Takahiro Aoki instead.
Ishikawa escaped going behind in the 1st, as Seabol came to the plate with men at first and second with two outs. The American singled to left but Higashide was easily thrown out at the plate to end both the threat and the inning.
Tokyo then wasted no time in getting on top of Aoki in the bottom of the inning. Fukuchi hit a leadoff single before Kawashima grounded out. Aoki then hit a double to bring home Fukuchi for 1-0 Tokyo. Next man up D’Antona then hit one deep over into the leftfield bleachers and the early lead was extended to 3-0.
After Seabol had made it 3-1 in the 4th, Yakult added on a run in each of the 6th, 7th and 8th innings. D’Antona’s second homer made it 4-1 in the 6th, two hits and a Takeuchi (in for Ishikawa) sacfly made it 5-1 in the 7th and another two hits and a RBI groundout from Guiel made it 6-1 in the 8th.
Matsuoka and Oshimoto worked one hit scoreless innings in the 8th and 9th respectively and it was 6-1 Final.
Ishikawa got the win and his record now stands at 2/1/6.353. Both teams hit eleven times in the game, but the Carp just couldn’t convert those hits into runs.
Other points of note:
Tanaka had a 3 for 3 night as he seems to be recovering from his horrible start to 2009. He’s now hitting .257 on the year.
D’Antona’s two homers, his second and third of the year, took him to .325 with 7 RBIs. Guiel still leads the team with 13 RBIs. Guiel is also leading the team hitting with RISP, as he’s on .389. Quite a change from the “solo homers” only Guiel of old and long may it continue.
Aoki continues to improve as he went 2 for 4 including his RBI double.
The two teams meet again for game two of the series Saturday night.