July 5th, 2008
Tokyo Yakult Swallows 5
Hiroshima Toyo Carp 5
Streak: Drawn 1. Last 5: WLLLD
(Hiroshima Municipal Stadium)
Yakult battled back from an early Hiroshima lead but couldn’t snatch a victory, as the two teams couldn’t be seperated after 12 innings of baseball.
Tokyo’s starter was Tateyama, and he had a poor afternoon, lasting only four innings after giving up five runs off nine hits as the Hiroshima batters got on top of him.
The Carp got in front early, five hits in the bottom of the 1st was good enough for a 0-3 lead. The Swallows pulled a run back in the top of the 2nd, with Fukukawa bringing home Guiel. But the three run lead was restored in the bottom of the same inning, a solo dinger from Hiroshima outfielder Alex making it 1-4 to the Carp.
Hiroshima added another run in the 3rd inning to extend their lead to 1-5 before Yakult struck back in the 5th. Hiroshima starter Maeda struck out Wilson to start the inning. Hits followed from Fukukawa, then Ihara who was pinch-hitting for Tateyama, to put men on first and second. Fukuchi then made contact, and the ball was fielded by pitcher Maeda, who made a bad throw to first missing the first baseman, allowing Fukukawa to score and make it 2-5. Miyamoto was then walked to load the bases. Aoki then hit a grounder to short, Miyamoto was out at second but Aoki was fast enough to beat the double play and be safe at first, Ihara scored from third which narrowed the lead to 3-5. Aoki proceeded to steal second (his 16th steal of the year), and Hatakeyama then hit to bring home Fukuchi and Aoki to tie the score at 5-5.
They would be the last runs of the game, with six relievers keeping the Carp at bay over 8 innings. Matsui worked the 5th and 6th, Matsuoka the 7th, Oshimoto the 8th and 9th, Igarashi the 10th, Lim the 11th and finally Hagiwara the 12th.
Yakult had a chance to take a late lead in the top of the 12th, but Guiel, again starting the game, struck out weakly with men on the corners. Guiel was hitless in his six at-bats with one walk.
This was Yakult’s first tied game of the year, leaving them without a win in their last four games.
The teams reconvene on Sunday afternoon for the final game of the series.