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Greisinger shines as Giants crush Swallows

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Seth Greisinger entered the Yomiuri Giants’ game against the Tokyo Yakult Swallows in need of a win.

Turns out facing the Swallows was just what the doctor ordered.

Greisinger threw eight shutout innings and Michihiro Ogasawara and Yoshinobu Takahashi homered to lead the Giants to a 6-1 win in front of 37,058 fans on Thursday at Tokyo Dome.

Greisinger (7-6), who had been winless in his last four starts, had everything working against the Swallows. He gave up six hits and didn’t walk a batter in one of his best performances of the season.

“I just thought I had good control and I was able to keep the ball down when I needed to and get a lot of ground balls,” Greisinger said. “Getting a lot of ground balls usually means I have the right mechanics.

“They didn’t hit many balls too hard tonight and (Shinnosuke) Abe did a great job calling the pitches.”

Greisinger struck out eight and didn’t allow a runner past second to pick up his first win since June 4 against the Orix Buffaloes.

“I talked to the two pitching coaches and we discussed what I wanted to do, how I wanted to approach my next game,” Greisinger said, referring to the period between his loss to the Hiroshima Carp on June 27 and Thursday’s game. “We worked on a couple of things in the bullpen and I think they paid off.”

Greisinger, who played for the Swallows last season, is 3-0 against his former team this season.

Giants center fielder Yoshitomo Tani led off the fifth by becoming the 48th player in NPB history to reach 300 career doubles. Tani, who drove in the game’s first run, finished 1-for-3 with an RBI.

Hayato Sakamoto also had a big night for the Giants, finishing 3-for-4 with an RBI.

Yakult starter Mikinori Kato lasted five-plus innings, giving up four runs on six hits to take the loss.

“Today Greisinger threw better than nine on a scale of 1-to-10,” Giants manager Tatsunori Hara said. “I really can’t ask for more than that.

“Ogasawara and Takahashi came through with some big home runs,” he added. “So we’re set to go to Nagoya and take on the (Chunichi) Dragons tomorrow night.”

Tigers down Dragons

NISHINOMIYA , Hyogo Pref. (Kyodo) Akihiro Yano delivered a tiebreaking two-run single in the eighth inning as the Hanshin Tigers completed a three-game sweep of the Chunichi Dragons with a 4-1 win on Thursday to extend its Central League lead to 9.5 games.

Yano’s hit off Taiwanese reliever Chen Wei-yin (2-3) put Hanshin ahead 3-1 before another run came in later in the eighth on a balk by Akinobu Shimizu at Koshien Stadium.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Fighters 6, Lions 4

At Sapporo Dome, Hichori Morimoto highlighted a five-run sixth inning with a tiebreaking two-run double and Yu Darvish won his third straight start as Hokkaido Nippon Ham rallied to beat Saitama Seibu.

Morimoto’s bases-loaded double put the Fighters ahead 5-3 before Kensuke Tanaka capped the big inning with an RBI single — his third hit of the night.

Darvish (9-3) allowed three runs and five hits in eight innings.

Marines 3, Eagles 1

At Sendai’s Kleenex Stadium, Shunichi Nemoto went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and rookie right-hander Yuki Karakawa threw seven-plus strong innings as Chiba Lotte held off Tohoku Rakuten.

Nemoto hit an RBI triple in a two-run first inning, doubled in the third and singled in a run in the fifth, coming a home run shy of the cycle.

Buffaloes 6, Hawks 5

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Mitsutaka Goto, Alex Cabrera and Tuffy Rhodes each homered and combined for five RBIs as Orix sent Softbank to its fifth loss in a row.

Goto and Cabrera hit solo home runs off Rick Guttormson (3-4) in the second and third innings, respectively, to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead.