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The Dragons series - 22-24 April, Nagoya Dome

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Featuring Christopher Amano-Langtree (a.k.a. Christopher)

This blog will attempt to report on as many Hanshin Tigers games as possible. Games will be, if possible, reported the day after and on rare occasions the same day.

The Dragons series - 22-24 April, Nagoya Dome

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Tigers who have an appalling record at Nagoya went there hoping to pick up their first away series of the season. It was also the first series in which Fujii did not start any of the games as catcher though he did put in an appearance as relief catcher in the first game. Fujinami started this game and pitched six solid innings but couldn't hold in the seventh losing his control and blowing his lead. Tigers bats though came back and the visitors ran out 10-4 winners as Dragons relief pitching collapsed dramatically in the eighth and ninth. It was a bit of a relief as Tigers had blown a solid three run lead in the seventh. Notably there was another Gomez home run.
Messenger pitched the second game with Umeno as his catcher. This was Umeno's first start as catcher and he did well enough. Messenger is off to a slow start this season and struggled again. He has been unable to dominate the zone in any way like he did last season and one thinks that he may be having trouble. The game in which Dragons bounced back from their drubbing hinged on a 3 run sixth with an extra run added in the eighth. Ryota Arai hit a pinch hit home run to give Tigers a measure of honour but the result of 4-1 to the Dragons reflected the situation fairly well.
The rubber game saw Iwazaki pitch to Tsuruoka against Okada. The latter started superbly well and Tigers weren't able to generate a hit until the fifth. Once they did they turned up the pressure nicely and scored in the sixth and eighth. Iwazaki meanwhile produced his best performance for Tigers and over seven innings only threw 94 pitches with two walks and five hits. Tigers kept the Dragons scoreless and ran out 3-0 winners with Murton adding the winning run. He now has 30 RBIs. Tigers took the series and had looked very good.
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