Nakata hits BayStars with 1-2 punch as Fighters win
Sho Nakata had Yokohama seeing stars, and not the ones decked out in the home whites at Yokohama Stadium in Monday’s interleague makeup game.
Nakata blasted his seventh and eighth homers, and added an RBI infield single in the ninth for a career-high-tying five RBIs as Nippon Ham got up early and pulled away late to top the BayStars 7-3.
Nakata, the cleanup man with funky numbers -- a homer rate of one every 41.3 ABs coming in -- had his first two-homer game in a year. His third-inning three-run shot was his first in 10 games. But the three-hit night only pulled his average up to .196.
Nakata, who changed his batting stance after a horrendous slump that saw him go hitless in 24 consecutive plate appearances to start the season, canceled out the two homers by Alex Ramirez [Nos. 6 and 7] that got the BayStars back into the game.
Ramirez has 46 homers in interleague, tied for second all-time. It was also the Venezuelan veteran’s 37th two-homer game, moving into fifth place all-time in that category.
The Fighters have won seven straight over the BayStars in interleague, and tied their season high by going 10 games over .500.
Righty Kazuhito Tadano (4-0) went six innings and allowed three runs to win his fourth straight.
PL 66, CL 65, 11 TIES