April 27th, 2014
Tokyo Swallows 5
Streak: Won 2 Last 5: LLLWW
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
The visiting Chunichi Dragons scored four runs for the third night in a row, but it wasn’t enough to stop Tokyo and it’s bevy of nine singles.
|W: Roman (1-0; 0.00 ERA)
L: Fukutani (0-1; 2.46)
S: Yamamoto (1-1 2S; 2.13)
Your birds were able to protect the lead late in the game and win on consecutive evenings for the first time since April 4th-5th.
|Araki (2B)||1||Yamada (2B)|
|Oshima (CF)||2||Ueda (CF)|
|Luna (3B)||3||Kawabata (3B)|
|Hirata (RF)||4||Balentien (LF)|
|Morino (1B)||5||Iihara (RF)|
|Wada (LF)||6||Hatakeyama (1B)|
|Donoue (SS)||7||Imanami (SS)|
|Matsui (C)||8||Nakamura (C)|
|Cabrera (P)||9||Narveson (P)|
The Dragons drew first blood when second-string catcher, Matsui, hit a triple to left center that plated Morino from first.
In the top of the fourth, Narveson gave up singles to Wada and Donoue before getting outs one and two. Araki’s double to left brought Wada home to double the advantage.
Tokyo finally got to Chunichi’s starter, Cabrera, in the bottom of the fourth. Ueda drew a six-pitch walk and then stole second on the first pitch of Kawabata’s at-bat. Kawabata brought him home three pitches later on a liner to right, and Balentien bundled the fourth pitched he was offered into right field. Iihara successfully sac-bunted Kawabata and Balentien over, and Hatakeyama brought them both home on a fly ball to left.
Wada’s sac fly in the top of the fifth, however, would erase Narveson’s chances at a first win in Japan. He was soon replaced on offense after allowing multiple runners in all but one of his five innings of work.
Chunichi reclaimed the lead in the top of the seventh after a fielding error in center allowed Oshima to take a couple extra bases. Morino finally brought him home a few batters later to send pangs of inevitability shooting through the colons of every Swallows fan in attendance.
But Tokyo stormed right back in the bottom of the seventh starting with Tanaka’s five-pitch, pinch-hit walk with one out. Yamada also drew a walk on a full count run and hit. Ueda then loaded the bases with a liner to left.
Kawabata lit the second red lamp with a fly ball that landed in the catcher’s mitt, but Balentien brought home two runs with 2-2 liner to left on a Fukutani heater. Two runs scored.
And that was the game.
Tokyo stranded three runners in the bottom of the eighth as they tried to give Yamamoto a little breathing room, but he ended up not needing it as he allowed just one base runner (single) on his way to his second save of the year.
Narveson has been reasonably consistent in his four starts. So far this season (warning: four starts is an extremely small sample size) Narveson has shown himself to be capable of five to six innings of work and tends to allow three earned runs per outing. If he can add an inning while allowing just the three, then he’ll officially be one of the best things that happened to the team before the All-Star break.
Narveson’s line was 103 pitches over five innings of work. Seven hits, four Ks, and three walks. Three earned runs for an ERA of 5.73 through four starts.
Balentien was the biggest bird at the plate with a 3-3, 2 RBI, 1 BB performance. Ueda (2-4, 1BB) and Nakamura (2-4) were the only other Swallows with multi-hit performances.
Tokyo heads to the Gomiuri Dome on Tuesday for a series against the orange scum. They next return to Jingu for a May 3rd-5th series (Golden Week!) against Hanshin.