July 7th, 2013
Chunichi Dragons 3
Streak: Won 2 Last 5: WLLWW
Tokyo stole the rubber match and the series from hosts Chunichi as your beloved Swallows pushed their record in the month of July to 4-2.
|W: Yamamoto (1-2 11S; 3.19 ERA)
L: Iwase (1-1 17S; 1.63)
S: Shichijo (0-1 1S; 4.09)
And now Tokyo is just a matter of percentage points away from climbing out of the Central League basement.
|Yamada (2B)||1||Ohshima (CF)|
|Ueda (CF)||2||Araki (2B)|
|Milledge (LF)||3||Clark (1B)|
|Balentien (RF)||4||Wada (LF)|
|Hatakeyama (1B)||5||Morino (3B)|
|Miyamoto (3B)||6||Hirata (RF)|
|Aikawa (C)||7||Tanishige (C)|
|Kawashima (SS)||8||Ibata (SS)|
|Ishikawa (P)||9||Yamamoto (P)|
Ishikawa took the mound for the Swallows and scattered two hits through his first four innings of work. Meanwhile, on offense, the birds managed to build a three-run advantage for their starter.
In the first inning, Yamada’s lead off double was followed by a Milledge two-bagger to draw first blood.
In the second, Tokyo added another run thanks to a Yamada single with runners on the corners. Aikawa, who had earlier walked, scored from third.
And finally in the third, with the bases loaded and two outs, Ishikawa singled for the second time in as many at-bats to help his own cause.
But the lead didn’t hold.
Chunichi got one back in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a Hirata solo homer.
In the sixth, Ohshima, who was allowed on thanks to a Kawashima error, eventually scampered home on a grounder to second. And Ishikawa eventually left the game after this inning with his lead cut to just one.
But Ishikawa’s name would be wiped from the final decision as Tokyo’s middle-relief managed to plunk one third of the Chunichi lineup before getting out of the seventh inning. Kiya allowed a Morino single and then beaned Hirata. Then Muranaka tatered two of the four batters he faced. Abe finally got his team out of the inning by securing the final out, but the damage had already been done. In hindsight, it’s remarkable that the Dragons only got one run out of the deal.
Tokyo got two men on in the eighth and ninth innings, but the game stayed tied through the end of regulation.
In the tenth inning, Hatakeyama’s one-out double was followed by a Miyamoto single at Chunichi closer, Iwase’s, expense.
Iwase then intentionally walked Aikawa to load the bases and get to Kawashima, which paid off, but the bases were still loaded for pinch hitter, Tanaka, with two outs.
Tanaka promptly singled to center, scoring one, and Yamada drew a five-pitch walk to push home an insurance run.
Emura and Shichijo tag-teamed to deal with the Dragons in the bottom of the 10th with the latter eventually earning his first save of the 2013 season.
Tokyo have now won two series in a row.
The Swallows will next play in Yamagata and Fukushima on Tuesday and Wednesday as the Giants host a mini home-away-from-home series. Both games start at 6PM.
26,532 people were at tonite’s game (allegedly).
The game lasted three hours and 53 minutes.
The season series is now tied 6-6 between these two clubs.
Tokyo’s MVP of the game was Yamada who was 3-5 at the plate with two RBI and a walk.
Hatakeyama also had a good day going 2-2 at the plate with two walks and a Tak bunt (!).
Aikawa added two walks to his single to help boost his OBP.