6/1/11 – Chiba (Away)

June 1st, 2011

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 3 

Chiba Lotte Marines 2

Streak: Won 2 Last 5: WLLWW

(QVC Marine Field)

Looking to pull themselves out of the Interleague cellar, the Birds took the field in the Great Cylinder (a.k.a. QVC Marine Field). Can the return of Aikawa do the trick?

For Tokyo:

P Yamamoto
1. Aoki
2. Tanaka
3. Whitesell
4. Hatakeyama
5. Balentien
6. Miyade
7. Miyamoto
8. Aikawa
9. Morioka

For Chiba:

P Yoshimi
1. Okada
2. Ishimine
3. Iguchi
4. Fukuura
5. Satozaki
6. Kiyota
7. Ohmatsu
8. Imae
9. Takahama

At the start, it looked like it might be another one of those Yamamoto starts: Despite notching two Ks in the first, he gave up an RBI to Fukuura, making it 1-0 Chiba.

In the second, with two outs, he gave up a solo HR to Imae, then struck out Takahama to end the inning. 2-0 Chiba.

In the top of the third, though, the Swallows broke their recent spell and put together a rally: With one out, Aoki and Tanaka both singled, Whitesell struck out, then Hatakeyama rapped an RBI double, followed by a Balentien walk, which was followed by a Miyade ground out, but not before Tanaka scored, tying the game, 2-2.

No further scoring was done over the next three innings, although Hatakeyama doubled again while Whitesell and Balentien both K-ed and Yamamoto hit Kiyota with a high inside pitch. Yamamoto continued his strike out-walk trade-offs while Yoshimi showed not much more control. In the bottom of the sixth, Ohno got a K and a BB before being replaced by Kyuko, who got a K and a pop out, which would get him his second win.

The top of seventh, though, started off a bit like the lucky third: Morioka out, Aoki single, but this time Tanaka got out on a liner, then Whitesell redeemed himself with an RBI double to center that would wind up being the game-winner. Ueda was put in to run for him and reached third as Hatake reached first on an Iguchi error at second, but Balentien struck out to end the inning. 3-2 Tokyo.

Hashimoto took the mound in the seventh, giving up one hit and striking one out. Oshimoto gave up a hit and a walk with one K in the eighth and Lim did the same in the ninth to earn his eleventh save of the season.

Ito and Yabuta both got to toss a few balls for the Marines, too.  Kyuko got the win for facing two batters at the right time. Yoshimi took the loss.

The Swallows host the Fighters on Friday. We here at the Tsubamegun are lobbying for them to give the Hokkaidoans the stale cookies.

This was the first time since the four-game winning streak of May 13th through 17th that Tokyo has won back-to-back games. It felt longer.