April 28th, 2009
Tokyo Yakult Swallows 4
Chunichi Dragons 2
Streak: Won 1 Last 5: LLLLW
(Toyohashi Municipal Stadium)
An 8th inning D’Antona two-run home run was the difference between the teams as Tokyo edged past Chunichi to snap their losing streak at five. And thank fook for that.
Ryo Kawashima started for Yakult and had a decent outing, going 5 and 2/3 innings, giving up two runs off two hits, stiking out four and walking one. Kawashima wouldn’t be involved in the final decision though.
The starting lineup for the game was:
1: Fukuchi (LF)
2: Miyamoto (3B)
3: Aoki (CF)
4: D’Antona (1B)
5: Takeuchi (RF)
6: Kawashima Keizo (SS)
7: Aikawa (C)
8: Tanaka (2B)
9: Kawashima Ryo (P)
The Swallows took the lead against Dragons starter Asakura in the top of the 2nd. Takeuchi walked and then was moved along on a groundout from Keizo. Aikawa then singled to centre to bring home Takeuchi and it was 1-0 Tokyo.
But the lead would be gone in the bottom of the same inning, a Wada solo homer evening things up at 1-1.
The Tokyo lead was restored in the top of the 5th with a bit of help from the Dragons infield. Errors from Morino and Blanco along with a fielder’s choice allowed the Swallows to load the bases with one out. Miyamoto then hit a sacfly to make it 2-1 Tokyo, and that would be the only run they would bring home that inning, a run that scored without Yakult registering a hit.
But back Chunichi came in the bottom of the 6th, Kawashima giving up a leadoff walk before Ibata brought in the run two outs later to make it 2-2. Maruyama, recently brought up to the top team to replace Ricky Barrett, came in to relieve Kawashima and got the final out of the inning.
Kida came in to pitch a two-strikeout hitless 7th and Tokyo then took the lead for good in the top of the 8th. And unlike the 5th, there was no luck about these runs. Aoki hit a one out single before D’Antona thumped one over the rightfield wall and it was 4-2 Tokyo. The homer was Jamie’s fifth for the year.
Igarashi then worked a hitless bottom of the 8th and before closer Lim took the mound.
The Korean didn’t make it easy for himself though, giving up a walk and then an Araki double to put the tying runs in scoring positions with no outs on the board. Lim struck out Ibata for the first out then Morino was intentionally walked. First baseman Tony Blanco then proceeded to strike out, his fourth of the game, and it was two outs. Lim then got danger-man Wada to ground out to second and it was game over, 4-2 Tokyo.
Kida took the win in relief to put his record at 2 and 2 with an ERA of 5.684.
Lim’s save was his 5th of the year and he is still to give up a run this season.
Ryo Kawashima’s record remains at 2 and 1 with a 4.433 ERA.
Fukuchi went 2 for 4 and his now hitting .324, as did Aikawa who is now at .344 as he continues to cement his place in the catchers position with industrial strength glue.
The two teams now head to the Nagoya Dome for game two of the series tomorrow evening.