8/14/08 – Yokohama (Away)

August 14th, 2008

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 6Tokyo Yakult Swallows cap

Yokohama BayStars 1

Streak: Won 1  Last 5:DLWLW
(Yokohama Stadium)

For the second night in a row Tokyo put up a 5 on the board in the 9th inning, but unlike Wednesday’s game, this time the 5 broke a 1-1 tie instead of being a conciliation, and was enough to take the series with the Baystars.

Masanori Ishikawa took the mound to start for Yakult and was solid, giving up just one run off six hits with seven strikeouts in a little over seven innings of work.  That work was only good enough for a no-decision however.

Yokohama starter Kobayashi, was equally good if not better than his Swallows counterpart, shutting out the Swallows over his seven innings, giving up a mere three hits.

So Yakult opened the scoring late, in the top of the 8th off Baystars reliever Ishii.  Fukuchi hit a triple to open the inning, and then Ihara hit a sacrifice fly to bring him home two batters later for 1-0 Tokyo. 

That lead lasted only until the bottom of the same inning though, with Yoshimura bringing home veteran infielder Nishi to tie the game at 1-1.

And so to the top of the 9th.  Tanaka worked a walk to open the inning.  Shida then bunted to move the runner on, but a poor throw to first allowed him to reach base.  Fukukawa bunted to leave men on second and third with one out.  Pinch hitter Noguchi then worked a walk to leave the bases loaded.  Up stepped Fukuchi who doubled to clear the bases and put the Swallows up 4-1, despite his hit being the first of the inning.  But the scoring wasn’t over as next man up Kawashima hit a rare homer to bring in two runs and extend the lead to 6-1.  So two hits scored five runs as eight batters came to the plate in the 9th for the birds.

Matsuoka took the mound in the bottom of the 9th to try to wrap up the game and that’s exactly what he did.  6-1 final.

Igarashi took a slightly fortuitous win for his three outs after relieving Ishikawa in the 8th.

From Yokohama, Yakult head to Nagoya for a three game series against the Chunichi Dragons starting tomorrow night.

About David Watkins

David is a baseball bothering Brummie who spends a fair portion of his life fretting over the Tokyo Swallows and the WORLD’S GREATEST FOOTBALL TEAM, Aston Villa. He completes the quartet of abusive sporting relationships by being a die hard New York Knicks and Mets fan. You can find him on twitter: @yakulto