July 8th, 2008
Tokyo Yakult Swallows 5
Streak: Won 2. Last 5:LLDWW
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
Yakult starter Ryo Kawashima put in a dominating performance and Hatakeyama and Aoki chipped in with a combined 5 hits and 3 RBIs between them as Tokyo eased to a comfortable victory against Yokohama.
Kawashima had a superb outing, no-hitting the Baystars over the first five innings, and ending up shutting them out over his 7 innings, giving up just 1 hit off 99 pitches, walking 1, and striking out 7.
The Swallows scored first in the bottom of the 1st off Yokohama starter Mark Wood. Miyamoto was walked, followed by a hit from Aoki. Hatakeyama then singled to right to bring home Miyamoto for 0-1.
In the 3rd, Aoki hit a single, then there was another RBI for Hatakeyama, this time a double. His drive just inside of the third base line missed the dive of Yokohama third baseman Murata, and dribbled along the ground, coming to rest near the leftfield wall. This allowed Aoki to motor home from 1st, just beating the throw to home plate. 0-2 Tokyo.
Yakult would continue the trend of scoring in every odd numbered inning in the 5th and 7th. In the 5th inning, it was Aoki this time with the RBI double to bring home pitcher Kawashima from third, and widen the lead to 0-3. And in the 7th inning a solo HR from Fukuchi made it 0-4.
Oshimoto relieved Kawashima in the top of the 8th, and maintained the shutout, despite giving up two hits.
In the bottom of the same inning, Wilson grounded out, then pinch hitter Takeuchi was walked. Another pinch hitter, Yuichi, then singled to put men on first and second. Fukuchi was then hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. Miyamoto then grounded to second, but beat the double play throw to first allowing Takeuchi to score. 0-5 Yakult. Aoki would then fly out to left to end the inning.
And so to the 9th. Igarashi came to the mound to try to shut down the game, and did enough despite letting a man on third (who was on base due to a Wilson error) and first, for a shutout 0-5 win.
Kawashima’s win left him with a record of 4 wins and 2 losses. Outfielder Norichika Aoki, who recieved the most fan votes in the CL in this year’s All-Star fan voting, got to base 4 out of the 5 times he came to bat, with 2 singles, a double, and a walk with an RBI leaving his batting average at .356
The next game in the three game series is tomorrow night at Jingu.