Ogasawara, Ramirez blaze Giants past BayStars


The Yokohama BayStars tried to go homer for homer with the Yomiuri Giants on Saturday night.

They put up a good fight but in the end it came down to the team that had the most guts.

Alex “Big Daddy” Ramirez and Michihiro “Guts” Ogasawara each homered twice, and the Giants survived a late push from the BayStars in a 5-4 win in front of 44,602 fans at Tokyo Dome.

“My condition is getting better and it is good to see (Koji) Uehara pitching again,” Ogasawara said. “I just can’t say enough about the way Ramirez is hitting as well.”

Ogasawara, who hit a game-tying home run earlier, drove a ball deep to right to cap a big night by breaking a seventh-inning deadlock. Ogasawara went 3-for-3 with a pair of RBIs in the win.

“It was a great feeling just to see him hit that home run,” Ramirez said. “It’s fun watching him hit when he’s hot.”

Ramirez also had a big night for the Giants, hitting his Japanese-baseball-leading 25th and 26th home runs on a 3-for-4, three-RBI night at the plate.

It was the fifth time this season Ogasawara and Ramirez, who accounted for all five Yomiuri runs, homered in the same game. The Giants are 5-0 in those contests.

“Every time we step on the field we try to do something to help the team win,” Ramirez said. “Sometimes you hit, sometimes you don’t. That’s part of the game. We do our best.”

Uehara pitched 1 1/3 innings in relief to pick up his second win of the season despite giving up a game-tying run in the seventh on Shuichi Murata’s RBI triple.

Uehara, who recently returned to the top team after a two-month stint on the farm, worked his way out of an inherited bases-loaded jam in the sixth before allowing a pair of hits and a run in the next frame.

Giants starter Hisanori Takahashi worked 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on four hits and striking out five. Takahashi (3-3) did not factor into the decision. Marc Kroon retired the side in the ninth on 10 pitches to earn his 22nd save of the season.

The Giants put a little more distance between themselves and the third-place Chunichi Dragons with the victory. They still trail the league-leading Hanshin Tigers by 11 games.

“We cannot worry about those guys,” Ramirez said. “They’ve been playing great the whole season. We just gotta take it day by day and worry about ourselves and win as many games as we can.”

Yakult, Chunichi tie

NAGOYA, (Kyodo) The Tokyo Yakult Swallows and the Chunichi Dragons failed to tip the balance, playing each other to a 1-1 draw on Saturday in a game that featured a total of 11 pitchers.

Yakult got on the board first on a Norichika Aoki RBI single with two outs in the third inning before Masahiko Morino’s run-scoring single tied it in the eighth, eventually pushing the game into extra innings at Nagoya Dome.

The Swallows loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the 12th on two hits and Aoki’s third consecutive intentional walk, but Ryohei Kawamoto popped out to first to end the threat.

Carp 1, Tigers 0

At Koshien Stadium, Ben Kozlowski set the pace with 5 2/3 shutout innings and Masato Akamatsu’s RBI single in the fifth was all that was necessary in Hiroshima’s win against CL leader Hanshin.


Fighters 9, Hawks 6

At Sapporo Dome, Atsunori Inaba and Terrmel Sledge each homered and drove in all nine runs as Hokkaido Nippon Ham beat Softbank.

Marines 7, Eagles 5

At Sendai’s Kleenex Stadium, Benny Agbayani hit a pair of run-scoring singles in the early innings as Chiba Lotte held off a rally by Tohoku Rakuten for its fourth consecutive win.

Lions 4, Buffaloes 2

At Kobe’s Skymark Stadium, pinch-hitter Yoshihito Ishii hit a go-ahead solo homer off Daisuke Kato (1-3) in the top of the ninth inning as PL leader Saitama Seibu extended its winning streak against Orix to nine games.