Alex Ramirez broke a record, Marc Kroon reached a milestone and Takuya Kimura took care of the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters.
Kimura hit a two-run home run and Ramirez set a franchise record as the Yomiuri Giants defeated the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 4-3 in front of 39,278 on Monday at Tokyo Dome.
Kimura followed a first-inning single by Hayato Sakamoto with his second home run in as many nights to help the Giants complete the two-game sweep and improve to 4-2 in interleague play.
Kimura, who finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs, batted third in the lineup, the first time he has hit out of the third spot since Oct. 16, 2003, when he played for the Hiroshima Carp.
“I don’t even remember (the last time I hit third),” Kimura said. “I’m not particularly aware of the batting order. I’m just the third batter in the lineup.”
Ramirez singled in his first at-bat to extend his hitting streak to 21 games, a new Giants franchise record for foreign players. He tied the record of former Yomiuri great Warren Cromartie Sunday night. Ramirez didn’t stop there, finishing 4-for-4 on the night.
Closer Marc Kroon worked 1 1/3 innings to record the save and reach a milestone of his own. The save was the 100th of Kroon’s career in Japan. Kroon is the fourth foreign pitcher to reach the century mark.
“This is the biggest accomplishment in my career and I’m happy I could do it in a Giants uniform,” Kroon said.
Adrian Burnside turned in a solid performance on the mound in his Giants debut. Dancing in and out of trouble, he allowed just two runs over five-plus innings while striking out three to earn the win.
“I was real excited and glad I could pitch so well in my first start,” Burnside said. “We got some good hitting and good relief pitching and I’m looking forward to my next game.”
Burnside’s victory was the first by a Giants starting pitcher since May 11, when Seth Greisinger earned the decision against the Chunichi Dragons.
“It’s nice to get the win for sure,” Burnside said. “I hope we can continue this over the next couple of weeks.”
The already injury-depleted Giants took another hit in the fourth when outfielder Yoshiyuki Kamei appeared to injure his ankle sliding into second base. He was later taken to the hospital.
Shinji Takahashi got the Fighters on the board in the fourth with an RBI single that scored Kensuke Tanaka, who touched home plate before catcher Shinnosuke Abe could apply the tag and made the score 2-1.
Burnside helped his own cause in the fourth with an RBI single to make the score 3-1.
The Giants added another run in the fifth before Atsunori Inaba’s RBI groundout made the score 4-2. Kensuke Tanaka homered in the eighth to make the score 4-3.
Nishinomiya Hyogo Pref. (Kyodo) Tomoaki Kanemoto delivered a game-winning single in the bottom of the 11th inning, lifting the Hanshin Tigers over the Seibu Lions in a 2-1 victory in interleague play on Monday.
Carp 8, Marines 4
At Hiroshima Stadium, Kenta Kurihara hit a game-tying single and Tomonori Maeda drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in a four-run fifth-inning rally, lifting Hiroshima over Chiba Lotte for its fourth win in a row.
BayStars 9, Buffaloes 5
At Yokohama Stadium, Shuichi Murata hit a go-ahead three-run homer in a four-run fifth inning as the hosts rallied past Orix to end their longest losing streak of the season at six games.
Eagles 5, Swallows 4
At Jingu Stadium, Teppei Tsuchiya hit a bases-clearing double in a five-run second inning and Tohoku Rakuten went on to hole off Yakult and extend its winning streak to four games.
Dragons 1, Hawks 0
At Nagoya Dome, Takashi Ogasawara combined with Hitoki Iwase for a four-hit shutout of Softbank, leading Chunichi to its second win in a row.