7/13/11 – Chunichi (Home)

July 13th, 2011

Chunichi Dragons 5

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 6

Streak: Won 3 Last 5: WLWWW

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

A sayonara RBI by Ryoji Aikawa in the tenth inning earned Tokyo their second straight victory over second-place Chunichi, putting the Swallows six games ahead atop the Central League.

Us:

36-22-7, .621, 6 games ahead

  1. Aoki (CF)
  2. Tanaka (2B)
  3. Whitesell (1B)
  4. Hatakeyama (LF)
  5. Balentien (RF)
  6. Miyamoto (3B)
  7. Kawabata (SS)
  8. Aikawa (C)
  9. Tateyama (P)

Them:

  1. Oshima (CF)
  2. T.Iwasaki (SS)
  3. Morino (3B)
  4. Wada (LF)
  5. Hirata (RF)
  6. Koike (1B)
  7. Araki (2B)
  8. Oyama (C)
  9. Yoshimi (P)

Tateyama got off to a painful start, when his fielding error allowed Iwasaki to reach first, then his slider down the middle allowed Morino to crank a two-run homer to center. 2-0 Chunichi.

The Swallows soon rallied with a Tanaka single being followed by a Whitesell RBI double, making it 2-1 Chunichi.

In the second, the Dragons added another run when, with Yoshimi on second and Oshima on first, Iwasaki hit an RBI single to right. 3-1 Chunichi.

Things stayed that way until the bottom of the fourth, when Whitesell was walked on five pitches. Hatakeyama looked set to do the same when Yoshimi served him up a fastball down the middle, which he knocked into the Chunichi faithful for a two-run round-tripper.

After a Balentien ground-out (Don’t swing at the first pitch!), Miyamoto singled, Kawabata doubled, then Aikawa bounced one to short. Luckily, Iwasaki flubbed it, allowing Miyamoto and Kawabata to score. Tateyama got Aikawa to second, but an Aoki pop up ended the inning. 5-3 Tokyo.

Kyuko came in in the seventh and got short shrift. A Kawabata error allowed Iwasaki to reach first, then Morino singled. At that point, Kyuko got the hook and Matsuoka came in for the last two-thirds of the inning.

In the eighth, Whitesell sat down, Hatakeyama moved to first, and Miwa took the field in left. Barnette pitched. Then Lim came in to close.

Alas, it was not Chang-yong Lim, the ever-reliable closer on the mound, but Bizarro Lim, who started the inning by giving up a single to Iwasaki on the first pitch of the inning. That was followed by a Morino homer on an 0-2 count. Luckily, Lim then managed to get the next three batters to pop out, but this did mean the game was suddenly dramatic again. 5-5.

In the bottom of the ninth, Fujimoto and Aoki struck out, then Tanaka popped out. Extra innings.

Oshimoto pitched the tenth and gave up a hit and a walk, but no runs.

Asao, who had pitched the ninth, stayed on the mound for Chunichi. After striking out Miwa, he walked Hatakeyama, for whom Noguchi came in to run. Balentien then made up for his first-pitch mistake, by using Asao as a pitching machine, going through ten pitches before doubling to left. Miyamoto then grounded out.

Iwase was then brought in to get the last out and stretch the game to eleven innings. Instead, he walked Miyade, who was pinch-hitting for Kawabata, and gave up the winning RBI to Aikawa. 6-5 Tokyo.

Oshimoto (1-1-1, 2.86) took the win, Asao the loss.

The Swallows gave up 14 hits and committed two errors. The Dragons gave up 11 hits and committed one error.

Tomorrow night, Tokyo looks to complete the sweep.