Yamai holds Swallows to 1 run, Dragons move into 1st
One key hit... produced one run... and gave Daisuke Yamai win No. 1 this season, and the Chunichi Dragons moved back into the No. 1 spot in the Central League.
Yamai handcuffed the Yakult Swallows on three hits over eight inning, and Kazuhiro Wada’s third-inning single produced the game’s only run in a 1-0 host Chunichi victory on Tuesday.
It was the fourth 1-0 win for the Dragons this season, and their 11th shutout.
Yamai (1-3) fanned seven [with no walks] and was helped when the Dragons got an unearned run thanks to Shinya Miyamoto’s second error of the season. Miyamoto he had gone 257 straight chances [dating back to last season] before making an error on April 30.
Yamai singled to open the frame and after a sac bunt, Masahiro Araki reached when Miyamoto couldn’t handle his grounder at third. Two batters later, Wada rolled a single through the left side.
Yamai said he just focused on throwing strikes.
“I’m the kind of pitcher who blows up after walking guys all the time, so I focused on going after guys and giving up silly walks,” Yamai said in the on-field hero interview.
Takuya Asao allowed the tying run to reach third, but fanned April player of the month Wladimir Balentien for his first save this season.
The Dragons left the bases loaded twice.
TIGERS 8, CARP 6
Takashi Toritani’s two-run, eighth-inning blast of Kam Mickolio (1-3) pushed Hanshin ahead and helped the Tigers survive Nick Stavinoha’s three-homer night in Niigata.
Stavinoha went 4-for-4 with four RBIs, and Shota Dobayashi also went deep, but Mickolio lost his second game on a homer in less than a week. The Tigers scored more than two runs for the first time in 10 games [tying their 1959 club for worst in franchise history] but scored three in the third.
Tomoaki Kanemoto got his 2,472nd hit, moving him past Shigeo Nagashima and into eighth place on the all-time list. Chunichi’s Kazuyoshi Tatsunami is next on the list with 2,480.
BAYSTARS 7, GIANTS 7
Yuki Yoshimura capped a wild ninth-inning comeback with a double to get Yokohama even after they trailed 6-0, and the BayStars worked out of trouble in the bottom of the inning for a tie in Niigata.
Norihiro Nakamura had three hits for the BayStars.
LIONS 2, EAGLES 1
Takumi Kuriyama’s single in the fifth got Seibu even and the second of Esteban German’s two doubles drove in the eventual game-winner in the sixth as Seibu edged Rakuten at The Kleenex Box.
Second-year submariner Kazuhisa Makita (2-3) went the distance for his third career complete game, scattering five hits and a walk with two Ks.
BUFFALOES 3, HAWKS 2
Aarom Baldiris’ RBI single put Orix ahead in a three-run fifth and Chihiro Kaneko (1-0) returned from an injury with seven strong innings as the Buffaloes got past SoftBank in Kobe.
Mamoru Kishida tossed a 1-2-3 ninth for his eighth save.
FIGHTERS 9, MARINES 7
Atsunori Inaba, the player of the month for April, went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, and Micah Hoffpair slugged a pinch-hit, three-run homer as Nippon Ham won at The Q.
Yang Zhong-shou had three hits and Sho Nakata also went deep for the Fighters.