June 23rd, 2008
(rearranged game from Sunday 22nd which was rained-out)
Orix Buffaloes 3
Tokyo Yakult Swallows 4
Streak: Won 2. Last 5: WWLWW
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
Shinichi Takeuchi was the 10th inning hero for the Swallows, getting a sayonara hit to win Tokyo’s final Interleague game of 2008.
Yakult starter Muranaka pitched a good six innings of one-run ball, off four hits, striking out six , and was unlucky not to register his second straight win.
Orix took the lead in the top of the 3rd inning by way of a sacrifice fly from centrefielder Sakaguchi to make it 1-0.
Yakult would come back to take the lead in the bottom of the 3rd with a hit from both Miyamoto and Aoki, followed by a double from Hatakeyama to bring the runners home for 1-2 Swallows.
And the score would stay that way until the 7th innning. Keizo Kawashima, pinch-hitting for Muranaka, got a single through the middle. He then stole second, and then during the next at-bat, attempted to steal third which drew a poor throw (and error) from Orix catcher Hidaka which evaded the third baseman, allowing Kawashima to score. 1-3 Swallows.
Also in the 7th inning, outfileder Usami Makitani, in his 10th season with the farm team, was called up to pinch hit – his first big league at bat. He struck out.
Matsuoka and Oshimoto would then work scoreless 7th and 8th innings, until closer Lim entered the game in the top of the 9th. Lim gave up a solo home run off the first batter he faced, Alex Cabrera, then struck out Rhodes before giving up another solo dinger to Kitagawa to tie the game. He would give up a double to the next batter but would eventually get out of the inning without further damage being inflicted.
Lim has now given up 5 runs (4 earned) in his last 5 appearences.
Matsui would work a scoreless 10th before the Swallows again faced Orix closer Katoh, who had been in since the 9th inning. Katoh would strike out Fukukawa, before walking Ihara and Tanaka. Wilson Valdez would then move the runners along with a ground out to second before Takeuchi would get the decisive hit to bring home Ihara and win the game.
Suprisingly, this was Tokyo’s first sayonara victory of the season.
With the Interleague games now wrapped up, the Swallows get a four day break before facing CL leaders Hanshin in a two game “home” series in Akita this weekend.