July 10th, 2016
Tokyo Swallows 8
Streak: Won 1 Last 5: LLLWLW
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
After the hype and excitement the previous night for Yoshinori’s return, the Swallows came into the evening with much more sensible expectations of beating the Dragons to get Sugiura his first 2016 win.
|W: Sugiura (1-0);
L: Yoshimi (4-3)
|1||Yohei Oshima (CF)||1||Naomichi Nishiura (SS)|
|2||Naomichi Donoue (SS)||2||Tomotaka Sakaguchi (CF)|
|3||Ryosuke Hirata (RF)||3||Shingo Kawabata (3B)|
|4||Dayan Viciedo (1B)||4||Tetsuto Yamada (2B)|
|5||Ricardo Nanita (LF)||5||Yuhei (Takai) (RF)|
|6||Nobuumasa Fukuda (3B)||6||Wladimir Balentien (LF)|
|7||Anderson Hernandez (2B)||7||Takahiro Imanami (1B)|
|8||Shota Sugiyama (C)||8||Yuhei Nakamura (C)|
|9||Kazuki Yoshimi (P)||9||Toshihiro Sugiura (P)|
The Swallows started their assault on Yoshimi fast and hard in the second. Yamada lead off the inning with a single but erased himself as he was caught stealing for only the second time in 2016. Yamada could be seen walking back to the dugout with a slight limp which was being attributed to hamstring tightness he develops when he’s tired. The Swallows bats wouldn’t be deterred however, as Yuhei followed Yamada with a double and Balentien was pseudo-intentionally walked so Yoshimi could face Imanami. The move backfired as Imanami launched a high fly ball to right that got caught in the wind to make it all the way into the stands. 3-0 Swallows
Sugiura held his own against the Dragons. He got into some trouble in the third loading the bases with back-to-back walks but was able to get Viciedo to foul out.
The Swallows struck again in the fifth inning. Despite giving up two outs to start the inning, a Kawabata single was followed by back-to-back-to-back doubles by Yamada, Yuhei, and Balentien to score an extra three runs. 6-0 Swallows Yamada’s double in the inning was a fly ball to shallow left field for which Nanita made a diving catch attempt. The ball popped into his glove but Nanita lost the ball on the landing and he appeared to have injured his right side. Nanita was stretchered off the field and was later diagnosed with a bruise at a local hospital.
Sugiura’s smooth ride came to an end in the seventh. Fujii and Fukuda opened the inning with back-to-back singles. Sugiura got Nomoto to strikeout but had to face 20 year veteran Morino. Morino took Sugiura’s offering and hit it back to straight centerfield for his first home run since 2014. 6-3 Swallows Lueke came in to get the last two outs of the inning and did his job without issue.
Just when it seemed like momentum may be tipping in the Dragons’ favor the Swallows offense made sure the bullpen had a comfortable cushon to work with. Kawabata lead off the inning with an infield single and then Yamada did his thing and rocked a 1-0 pitch over the wall in left-center field. 8-3 Swallows
Hirai and Akiyoshi finished things off for the Swallows to preserve the win for Sugiura. 8-3 Swallows FINAL
- Yamada’s homer was the 100th of his career. He became the youngest Swallow (23 years and 11 months) to reach the milestone surpassing Takahiro Ikeyama (24 years and 7 months).
- Both Yamada and Imanami had three hits on the evening and came within a triple of hitting for the cycle.
- The Swallows will travel down to Nagano to face the Tigers in a home-away-from-home game on Tuesday before finishing off the pre All Star schedule with a single game against the Tigers at Jingu on Wednesday.