August 28th, 2008
Tokyo Yakult Swallows 2
Hiroshima Toyo Carp 3
Streak: Lost 1 Last 5: LLLWL
The Carp ensured that Yakult wouldn’t lose that losing feeling for long as they edged this one in a tight contest in Hiroshima. The Swallows have now lost in 6 of their last 7 outings.
Ex-Carp Sean Douglass started for Tokyo, his second start since joining mid-season, and gave up three runs (two earned) off seven hits in his 7 innings, and was tagged with his first loss as a Swallow.
Hiroshima took the lead in the bottom of the 1st. Outfielder Amaya hit a one out single before attempting to steal second. Fukukawa’s throw was wide of Tanaka at second and the ball rolled into the outfield allowing Amaya to reach third – Fukukawa was charged with the error. Next man up Alex hit a grounder to third but the run scored for 0-1.
But the lead didn’t last long as Tokyo drew level in the 2nd with a wonderful piece of play. Hatakeyama singled to open the inning off Carp starter Ohtake. Ihara then hit a grounder to third and Hatakeyama was out at second. Next man Tanaka then singled and Ihara advanced to third to put men on the corners with one out. Tanaka then made to steal second but held up as soon as the ball left the catchers hand. By this time Ihara was bolting home, fast enough to just beat the returning ball, stealing home base to tie the score at 1-1.
And the Swallows then took the lead in the 4th, a solo dinger in to the leftfield stands from Hatakeyama (his 7th of the year) putting the birds ahead 2-1.
But again the lead wouldn’t last long, as an RBI double from Soyogi in the bottom of the 4th squared up proceedings at 2-2.
The decisive run came in the bottom of the 6th, just as the heavens opened for the second night straight on a Tokyo pitcher. First man up Kurihara hit Douglass’ first pitch of the inning over the leftfield fence and it was 2-3 Carp.
Hiroshima got one more hit that inning but it would be their last of the game, as Ohimoto and Matsuoka worked hitless 7th and 8th innings, with the latter striking out all three men he faced.
Yakult tried to get back into it in the 8th, as Miyamoto hit a lead off single. But Aoki hit a line drive straight at Kurihara at first and the Carp player made the unassisted double play as Miyamoto couldn’t get back in time.
Hiroshima closer Nagakawa closed things down in the 9th for his 26th save of the year.
Fukuchi’s stolen base in the third inning was a CL leading 33rd of the year.
From Hiroshima Yakult head to Yokohama for a 3 game series with the bottom placed Baystars. Yakult are just edging the season series between the CL’s current bottom two teams 9-8.