April 7th, 2013
Tokyo Swallows 10
Streak: Won 1 Last 5: WLLLW
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
|W: Hirai (1-1); L: Yoshikawa (1-1)|
After three straight losses to two perennially weak teams and the news that Shohei Tateyama will be out for the rest of the season recovering from elbow surgery, tonight’s offense-led victory was a welcome relief.
|1||Ishikawa (SS)||1||Kawashima (SS)|
|2||Uchimura (2B)||2||Ueda (CF)|
|3||Morgan (RF)||3||Milledge (LF)|
|4||Blanco (1B)||4||Hatakeyama (1B)|
|5||Ramirez (LF)||5||Iwamura (3B)|
|6||Nakamura (3B)||6||Takeuchi (RF)|
|7||Aranami (CF)||7||Nakamura (C)|
|8||Takajo (C)||8||Morioka (2B)|
|9||Miura (P)||9||Yagi (P)|
|RP||Mishima, Tsuchiya, Sato, Yoshikawa, Kamiuchi||RP||Shichijo, Hirai, Yamamoto, Abe|
Tokyo gained a relatively early lead, but not without Yokohama catching up once and a fair bit of action overall, mainly in four of four home runs. . . for each team.
The bottom of the second started off with a joyous bang (unless you happened to be Daisuke Miura, in which that bang was the sound of your night and your pride exploding in your head): Iwamura, Takeuchi, and Nakamura combined to make Miura throw 23 pitches, for three back-to-back solo home runs. 3-0 Tokyo.
One out into the third, Miura spread the love around by giving up a homer to Hatakeyama, too. 4-0 Tokyo.
Just as the Swallows might have started feeling a little cocky, Yagi started off the fourth inning by giving up a solo home run to Blanco. 4-1 Tokyo.
Blanco started the sixth inning the same way – solo round-tripper off of Yagi. Not to let the theme of the evening go, Nakamura whacked his own solo circumnavigation of the bases off of poor Yagi as well. 4-3 Tokyo.
Shichijo took the mound for the Birds in the seventh and the strangest thing happened: there were more non-home run hits than home runs and a run scored in the slow way. The pinch-hitting Kajitani singled, Ishikawa lined out to second, and, with an out, Uchimura sac-bunted Kajitani to second. Kinjoh then walked, then Blanco not only hit an RBI, but – just as bad – made the sac-bunt successful. It’s bad for the world when sac-bunts succeed. 4-4.
With the home run derby well and truly over, Tokyo settled down to the serious business of not being swept by the BayStars. Two outs into the bottom of the seventh, Ueda singled, Milledge doubled, and Hatake cracked a two-run double. Iwamura then hit a line-drive to second, getting nabbed for the third out, but not before Fludge crossed the plate making it 7-4 Tokyo.
Tokyo increased the lead when Kamiuchi walked Takeuchi, who was replaced by the fleet-footed Hiyane. Nakamura sac-bunted Hiyane to second before Tanaka and Miyamoto were both walked to load the bases. Kamiuchi then plunked Kawashima to give his hosts another run and leave himself in trouble. Ueda grounded to second, getting Tanaka nabbed at home. Milledge then doubled in one runner while another got caught before Hatake popped out to end the inning. 10-4 Tokyo.
Yokohama wasn’t quite done. With Abe on the mound, Matsumoto tripled, Kinjoh grounded out, and Blacno reprised the day’s main theme by cracking his third home run – the first multi-run homer of the game. 10-6 Tokyo, Final.
The Swallows travel to Nagoya to play the Dragons Tuesday through Thursday.