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September swing …

Discussion in the Japanese Baseball Daily forum
September swing …
Yakult improves to 6-1 this month

The Yakult Swallows nearly crashed from the Central League skies with a dreadful August, but they’re swinging in the right direction so far in September.

Kyohei Muranaka (4-4) battled his way through six runner-filled innings – allowing nine hits and three walks – and Shinya Miyamoto had two hits and two RBIs, including a go-ahead infield knock in the fifth inning, as Yakult downed the host Yokohama BayStars 7-3 on Thursday.

The 4-hour, 33-minute tussle with the last-place BayStars was the longest game in either league this season and kept the Swallows four games ahead of the second-place Hanshin Tigers.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s short or long, I’m just glad we won,” Miyamoto said in the hero interview. “From here on out, a win is a win and a loss is a loss. We’re just trying to come together as a team and win each game,” said Miyamoto, whose Swallows improved to 6-1 this month and play host to the Tigers at home in a three-game weekend set starting tonight.

“I think the race is going to go right down to the end, and they’ve gotten us pretty good this season so I’m looking for us to somehow win the first game,” Miyamoto said.

It was the second-longest nine-inning game in Swallows’ history and the third-longest regulation game for the BayStars. The teams combined to use a CL-record 15 pitchers, which tied the NPB record.

Yakult pitchers fired 170 pitches, while Yokohama pitchers threw 192.

Wladimir Balentien put the game away with a two-run blast, his CL-leading 26th, in the ninth inning to close out the scoring.

HANSHIN 9, CARP 3

Kentaro Sekimoto capped a seven-run third inning with a three-run homer, his second of the season, as Hanshin completed a sweep of Hiroshima at Kyocera Dome.

Atsushi Nomi (8-8) worked seven innings, allowing three runs on five hits, a walk and two hit batters, while fanning eight as Hanshin went a season-best three games over .500. Tomoaki Kanemoto took over sole possession off third place on the all-time list of games played by an outfielder, making his 2,294th appearance in the outfield.

GIANTS 0, DRAGONS 0

Yomiuri rookie Hirokazu Sawamura went 10 scoreless innings and Chunichi lefty Enyelbert Soto fired 9.1 shutout innings in a 12-inning draw at Nagoya Dome.

Sawamura yielded just two hits in his longest, and perhaps best, outing as a pro.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

LIONS 7, MARINES 4

Takeya Nakamura clubbed his Japan-best 38th homer and took over the PL lead with three RBIs [for 91], and rookie Shogo Asayama smacked a two-run shot, his first pro homer, as Seibu came back to top visiting Lotte.

Yusei Kikuchi (4-1) worked seven innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk but coming away with the win.

BUFFALOES 4, EAGLES 4

Kazuo Matsui’s RBI single in a four-run second gave Rakuten a one-run lead, but Hikaru Ito’s RBI hit in the fifth got Orix even and the teams played to a nine-inning, time-limit draw at The Kleenex Box.

Orix's Mitsutaka Goto extended his hitting streak to 20 games with a first-inning single.



[Edited by: jgibson on Sep 9, 2011 8:30 AM]
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