Jul 31st 2014, @ Hanshin

July 31st, 2014

Tokyo Swallows 7

Hanshin Tigers 1

Streak: Won 1   Last 5: LLWLW

(Koshien Stadium)

Huzzah! The Swallows won a three game series for the first time since May. The team closed out July with a game that brought hope to those watching that a better August was ahead.

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W: Muranaka (1-2)
L: Ishiyama (5-10)

 Swallows Tigers
1Tetsuto Yamada (2B)1Hiroki Uemoto (2B)
2Ryota Yachi (SS)2Shunsuke (Fujikawa) (CF)
3Shingo Kawabata (3B)3Takashi Toritani (SS)
4Wladimir Balentien (LF)4Mauro Gomez (1B)
5Yuhei (Takai) (RF)5Matt Murton (LF)
6Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)6Ryota Imanari (3B)
7Yasushi Iihara (CF)7Ryota Arai (RF)
8Yuhei Nakamura (C)8Ryutaro Umeno (C)
9Kyohei Muranaka (P)9Atsushi Nomi (P)

Things started off on the right foot. Yachi got on with a single and got cashed in with a BALENTIEN HOMER!!! to center field. 2-0 Swallows It was Coco’s 20th homer of the season, marking the slugger’s fourth 20 homer season.

The Swallows threatened against Nomi in the second and third but couldn’t get any more runners. Luckily Muranaka brought his A game and the Tigers couldn’t get anything going against the young lefty. Muranaka scattered just three hits and a walk through his eight innings and kept the Tigers at bay while the Swallows offense struggled to pile on against Nomi.

Nomi settled down after the third and pitched perfect innings in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. It looked like Nomi was on his way to a perfect seventh as he started the inning with back-to-back strikeouts with Muranaka up to bat. Muranaka hit one up the middle for a single. Yamada walked on a wild pitch that allowed Muranaka to advance all the way to third base. Yachi brought Muranaka home with a hit up the middle. 3-0 Swallows

The Tigers got their lone run in the bottom of the inning. Toritani started the inning with a grounder to short that Yachi bobbled and rushed his throw allowing the runner to reach base on an error. Gomez followed with a single to put men on the corners. It was the first time the Tigers had multiple runners on base. Murton grounded into a double play that allowed Toritani to score but killed any further threat. 3-1 Swallows

Nomi was relieved in the eighth for Tateyama. Balentien started off the inning with a single to left and he was promptly replaced on the bases with Hiyane. Hiyane promptly stole second and advanced to third on a Yuhei fly to center. Hiyane came home on a sac fly by Hatake. 4-1 Swallows

The Tigers brought out Saiuchi for the ninth and the Swallows offense went wild. Takeuchi came in to pinch hit for Muranaka with one out and drew a walk. Yamada poked a single to right to put men on first and second. With the outfield cheating in, Yachi got a solid hit to center over the outfielder’s head allowing both runners to score. 6-1 Swallows The Tigers replaced Saiuchi with Yamamoto but the hits kept on coming. With the outfield still playing shallow Kawabata skyed one to deep right for a easy triple. 7-1 Swallows Hiyane wasn’t able to homer to continue the single-double-triple progression and grounded out. Yuhei did get Kawabata back home with a flare to left for a single. 8-1 Swallows

The Swallows brought out Matsuoka to close out the game and he did the job well enough despite a lead off single thanks to a strikeout and a game ending double play. 8-1 Swallows FINAL

It was a beautiful game where the Swallows outplayed the Tigers in every facet of the game. Even on defense where Yachi’s error cost the Swallows their only run, the Swallows looked good turning three double plays on the night. Muranaka pitched eight innings on just 107 pitches (Nomi needed 119 for his seven innings) and collected six strikeouts. Also, mad props to Yachi who went 4-for-5 with three RBIs. Yachi was one of five Swallows to record a multi-hit game.

The Swallows must hope to continue the good play as they return to Jingu to play the Dragons in a three game set. Tomorrow’s game will start off with a matchup between Ishikawa and Ohno.

Muranaka got it done on the mound and at the plate tonight.

Muranaka got it done on the mound and at the plate tonight.

About Kozo Ota

Kozo Ota is a third-generation Swallows fan that grew up on Montreal Expos baseball. (You can read more about that here.) When he’s not at Jingu, he works as a freelance translator/interpreter to make enough money to go to Jingu. You can find random posts by Kozo on Google+ and Twitter.

  • Ryo Uchida

    Was that really Muranaka? The Muranaka I know, would have imploded after that Yachi error… One walk? Really? Props to his base-running as well.