August 17th, 2008
Chunichi Dragons 5
Streak: Lost 1 Last 5:LWWWL
Tokyo failed to sweep the Dragons and take a share of 3rd place as they fell to Chunichi on Sunday evening.
Dicky Gonzalez made his first start since 2006 for Yakult, and was tagged with the loss for his troubles. Gonzalez started strongly, striking out three of the first five batters he faced, but the Chunichi hitters started to get hold of him on the second and third times around. Dicky finished his 5 innings of work after giving up four runs off eight hits with five strikeouts.
The game looked to be going the way of the last two nights as the Swallows took a 3rd inning lead. Gonzalez hit a double before Fukuchi tripled to bring him home for 1-0.
But after that the Yakult bats managed just two more hits in the game against veteran Chunichi starter Yamamoto and reliever Asao, the former working 7 solid innings of five hit one run baseball.
After the Dragons tied up the game with a run in the bottom of the 4th, the main damage was done in the 5th. Tyrone Woods hitting a 3 run homer to put Chunichi 1-4 up.
Reliever Nishizaki, making his first appearance of the season, gave up two hits in the 6th but managed to get out of the inning without a run scoring.
Hanada came in to pitch the 7th but was punished by Norihiro Nakamura who hit a solo homer to extend the lead to 1-5.
Matsui then pitched a hitless 8th but without the run support the game was over and Chunichi maintained their 3rd place position.
Yakult have their regular off day Monday before returning to Jingu on Tuesday to face crosstown rivals the Yomiuri Giants in a three game series.