August 15th, 2013
Tokyo Swallows 5
Streak: Lost 1 Last 5: WLWWL
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
The Swallows lost a winnable see-saw game, as Ishikawa and the bullpen weren’t quite able to hold a lead against the Dragons.
|W: Okada (6-5); L: Kyuko (1-1); S: Iwase (27)|
|1||Atsushi Fujii (CF)||1||Wataru Hiyane (LF)|
|2||Kyohei Iwasaki (SS)||2||Tsuyoshi Ueda (CF)|
|3||Ryosuke Hirata (RF)||3||Shingo Kawabata (3B)|
|4||Kazuhiro Wada (LF)||4||Wladimir Balentien (RF)|
|5||Masahiko Morino (2B)||5||Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)|
|6||Matt Clark (1B)||6||Testuto Yamada (2B)|
|7||Shuhei Takahashi (3B)||7||Ryoji AIkawa (C)|
|8||Kohei Oda (C)||8||Keizo Kawashima (SS)|
|9||Masa Yamamoto (P)||9||Masanori Ishikawa (P)|
Things didn’t start well for the Swallows. Fujii started the game with a single and got bunted over the second. Ishikawa got Hirata to strike out, but the wheels came off in the next at bat. Wada skyed a bloop single to center that scored Fujii from second. It looked like Ueda fielded the ball on the bounce, but unlike his heroics on Tuesday night Ueda seemingly spike the ball in such a way that it managed to roll into foul territory past first base. The unexpected throw gave Wada time to circle the bases for an unofficial inside-the-park homerun. 2-0 Dragons It was a bizarre play that set the stage for the night.
The oldest active player in baseball, Masa Yamamoto, kept the Swallows off the board through the first three innings. Although he did not look untouchable. But the Dragons were able to extend their lead before the Swallows got their first run, as Clark was able to hit a classic Ishikawa solo shot in the fourth. 3-0 Dragons
The Swallows finally got to Yamamoto in the bottom of the inning as Fludge lead off the inning with a solo shot. 3-1 Dragons Yamada, Aikawa, and Kawashima got an extra run with back-to-back-to-back singles. 3-2 Dragons Yamamoto got his first out via an Ishikawa sac bunt, and was pulled for Okada soon after. With men on second and third, Hiyane managed a high hopping grounder to score the tying run at the expense of an out. 3-3 All
The Dragons retook the lead in the next inning as Fujii got his second home run in as many nights to put the Dragons up by one. 4-3 Dragons
The tide turned in the Swallows’ favor in the bottom of the inning. Kawabata lead off the inning with a single before Balentien and Hatake went down on strikeouts. Yamada managed to draw a walk and Aikawa singled off Okada to score Kawabata to tie the game. 4-4 All Okada walked Kawashima to sert the stage for a dramatic pinch-hit appearance by Miyamoto. Miyamoto delivered by blooping a hit down the right field line to score Yamada and take the lead for the Swallows. 5-4 Swallows
Unfortunately the dramatic pinch hit appearance meant that the Swallows were going to dip into their bullpen in the sixth inning. In a blink of an eye the bullpen disappointed once again as Fujita gave up a lead off solo shot to Wada to tie the game. 5-5 All Fujita gave way to Kyuko, who got two outs before surrendering a hit to Takahashi. What should have been a simple single, lead to Takahashi standing on third as Balentien over-pursued the ball and got in front of Ueda who had a more natural path the the ball. With both outfielders converging on the same point, the ball got behind both of them as neither made the play. The Dragons elected to send in Tanishige to pinch hit, and the Swallows elected to send Yamamoto to pitch to him. As alluded to earlier, Yamamoto allowed a hit to Tanishige that scored Takahashi from third to give the Dragons the lead. 6-5 Dragons
The Swallows did get a chance in the eighth inning by loading the bases with one out against Asao, but neither Kawabata nor Balentien were able to make a play to give the Swallows the sweep.
The Swallows will go on to face the Tigers in a three game series at the Kyocera Dome.