July 8th, 2016
Tokyo Swallows 6
Streak: Won 1 Last 5: WLLLW
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
After getting swept in Yokohama, the Swallows were looking to reassert their dominance in games in which they bat in the bottom of the inning, aka home games.
|W: Naruse (3-2);
L: Jordan (5-3)
|1||Yohei Oshima (CF)||1||Naomichi Nishiura (SS)|
|2||Masahiro Araki (2B)||2||Tomotaka Sakaguchi (CF)|
|3||Ryosuke Hirata (RF)||3||Shingo Kawabata (3B)|
|4||Dayan Viciedo (1B)||4||Tetsuto Yamada (2B)|
|5||Ricardo Nanita (LF)||5||Akihisa Nishida (1B)|
|6||Nobuumasa Fukuda (3B)||6||Wladimir Balentien (LF)|
|7||Naomichi Donoue (SS)||7||Yuhei (Takai) (RF)|
|8||Shota Sugiyama (C)||8||Yuhei Nakamura (C)|
|9||Jordan (Norberto) (P)||9||Yoshihisa Naruse (P)|
While it was Kyle Davies’ spot in the rotation, he was deactivated earlier in the day citing tightness in his neck. With that injury, Naruse’s one month stint in the bullpen came to an end. Things started well for Naruse as he retired the Dragons side in order.
Things got even better in the bottom of the inning. Sakaguchi got a one out single and Jordan walked Kawabata and Yamada back-to-back to load the bases. Balentien then smoked a 2-1 pitch off the left field wall to score two runs. 2-0 Swallows
Things got interesting in the bottom of the third. Sakaguchi lead off the inning with a single. After Kawabata and Yamada went down, Balentien came up to bat. Jordan proceeded to drill a fastball straight into Balentien’s elbow. Balentien clearly felt the pitch was intentional and started yelling and walking towards Jordan. The benches cleared. Sugiyama’s weak attempt to hold Balentien back couldn’t stop the Curaçaoan from throwing his helmet at Jordan. Viciedo got to Balentien and managed to deescalate the situation. Unfortunately the thrown helmet meant the umps ejected Balentien and the Swallows had to go with Iihara in left for the rest of the night. Jordan then walked Nishida (including a pitch that came dangerously high and inside) to load the bases but the Swallows couldn’t capitalize on the situation.
The Swallows finally got more runs in the fifth. Kawabata lead off the inning with a single and Yamada smoked a grounder up the middle to put men on the corners. Iihara drew a walk from Jordan to load the bases. The Dragons replaced Jordan with Sobue. Nishida was the first man up with no outs and the bases loaded, he got robbed by a diving Araki, who was playing in, and got the force at home. Another run scored on a wild pitch by Sobue with Yuhei up at bat. 3-0 Swallows Yuhei cashed in a runner with a bloop single. 4-0 Swallows Nakamura battled Sobue for ten pitches, and finally chopped one a ball down the third base line which Sobue fielded. Fortunately Sobue flubbed his throw to home over the catcher’s head to score another run. 5-0 Swallows
Naruse ran into some trouble in the sixth. He gave up the obligatory Naruse home run to Araki. 5-1 Swallows Naruse walked Hirata and gave up a double off the wall to Viciedo for another run. 5-2 Swallows Naruse got Nanita to fly out for a second out before he was replaced by Matsuoka. Matsuoka kept the Dragons off the board and the lead held.
Nishida extended the lead with a solo home run to lead off the inning. 6-2 Swallows
After Lueke and Hirai kept the Dragons off the board in the seventh and eighth respectively the Swallows handed the ball to Akiyoshi in a non-save situation in the ninth. Akiyoshi gave up a first pitch homerun to Fukuda before he cruised through the next three batters for the Swallows win. 6-3 Swallows FINAL
- The Swallows are now on a six game home winning streak. That includes the two games in Akita in which the crowd was probably more pro-Giants than for the Swallows.
- Araki’s homer was his first since the 2014 season.
- Tomorrow night will be the vaunted return of YOSHINORI Sato. The team will distribute number 11 placards to the first 25,000 fans. He’ll face off against Wakamatsu.
- Tonight’s game was a rare Jingu doubleheader with the Swallows farm team playing the Eagles’ farm team earlier in the day. Ishikawa started for the ni-gun Swallows and got the win with six innings of effective pitching. The younger farm hands were required to stay for the night game and could be seen milling around the stadium throughout the night.