July 9th, 2008
Tokyo Yakult Swallows 7
Streak: Lost 1. Last 5:LDWWL
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
Both teams had starting pitching issues as the BayStars went to town at Jingu, with 12 hits including 4 home runs as they beat the Swallows on Wednesday night.
Yakult’s starter was Muranaka, who had a torrid time in his six innings on the mound, giving up 7 runs, off 7 hits which included 4 home runs, walking 4 and striking out 6.
Yokohama got on top of him straight away in the top of the 1st, with 4 hits including 2 home runs from Kinjoh and Murata, and a wild pitch from Muranaka helping to give the BayStars a 5-0 early lead.
But Yokohama would have starter trouble of their own in the bottom of the same inning. Fukuchi singled off BayStars starter Sanada to lead off the inning, followed by a ground out from Miyamoto. Aoki was then walked before Hatakeyama doubled to score Fukuchi for 5-1 Tokyo. Takeuchi then flyed out, but it wasn’t deep enough for Aoki to try to score from third. But Tanaka would get the job done next, hitting a three run homer into the leftfield stands to bring the score to 5-4.
The 2nd inning was hitless for both teams before Muranaka became victim to the home run ball again in the top of the 3rd, Bigbie hitting a solo homer to make it 6-4.
The Swallows struck back in the bottom of the 3rd, Tanaka and Wilson bringing home a run apiece to tie the game at 6-6.
Yokohama would pull ahead again in the 6th, Muranaka giving up his fourth and final homer of the night to infielder Jay Jay. 7-6 Baystars.
In the 7th, Hagiwara relieved Muranaka, and Yokohama added another two runs (one of them scoring off a Hatakeyama error) to make it 9-6. Tokyo scored their final run of the evening in the bottom of the 8th, Fukuchi bringing home a consolation run to make the score 9-7.
The Swallows had chances to pull back further later in the 8th, but Miyamoto and Aoki both couldn’t bring anyone home with the bases loaded.
Muranaka was tagged with the loss, his 8th of the season. His ERA is now at 4.468. Reliever Yoshikwa pitched a scoreless 8th and 9th innings in relief for Yakult.
Hatakeyama got a double and two singles in his five at bats, while Aoki was hitless with a walk.
The teams return to Jingu tomorrow evening for the final game of the series.