The ceremony held for Shinnosuke Abe before the Yomiuri Giants’ game against the Orix Buffaloes was to honor him for recently playing in his 1,000th game.
Had he not gotten hurt, there probably would’ve been another one afterward in honor of his exploits in game No. 1,016.
Abe hit a pair of solo home runs and Michihiro Ogasawara added another in support of starter Hisanori Takahashi, and the Giants cruised to a 6-2 win against the Orix Buffaloes in front of 40,057 fans on Monday at Tokyo Dome.
“I was able to pitch my game tonight and get the run support thanks to Abe and Ogasawara,” Takahashi said.
Abe homered on the first pitch he saw in the second inning and did the same in the sixth to help power the Giants to their third win in the last four games. It was the third straight multihit game for Abe, who finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
There were a few tense moments for Giants fans after he was hit by a pitch in the seventh inning. Abe fell to the ground in pain, but was ultimately able to leave the field without assistance.
Ogasawara connected on his 12th homer of the season in the fifth, finishing 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. Ogasawara ended the game as the Central League leader in home runs (tied with Chunichi Dragons slugger Tony Blanco) and RBIs (43).
“I was able to be more patient as a hitter and I think that’s why I’ve been so hot lately,” Ogasawara said.
“It feels good to the leader but it’s a long season.”
Takahashi (3-1) gave up a pair of solo drives to the Buffaloes but still earned the win after allowing three hits and striking out four in six innings.
Closer Marc Kroon threw nine pitches in a perfect ninth to finish off the game in a non-save situation. It was Kroon’s first action since striking out the side in the ninth against the Hiroshima Carp on May 17, when he notched his eighth save of the year.
Kazuki Kondo took the loss for the Buffaloes, allowing five runs on eight hits. He struck out three and walked four over 5 1/3 innings.
Buffaloes shortstop Keiji Obiki opened the scoring in the first by taking Takahashi’s pitch for a ride over the wall in center to make the score 1-0.
Abe tied the score with his homer in the second, while Ogasawara and Yoshiyuki Kamei picked up RBIs in the third to give the Giants a 3-1 lead.
Shinji Shimoyama pulled a run back for the Buffaloes in the fourth, cutting the lead to one run with a solo drive. It was his second homer in as many days against the Giants.
The Giants added a run on Ogasawara’s 12th home run of the year in the fifth, and Abe’s second of the game made the score 5-2 in the sixth.
Tetsuya Matsumoto drove in a run with a bases-loaded single in the seventh to stretch the lead to four runs.
HIROSHIMA (Kyodo) Kan Otake went seven innings to extend his club-record scoreless streak to 38 innings, leading the Hiroshima Carp to a 3-0 win over the Seibu Lions at Mazda Stadium on Monday.
Otake (4-1) allowed five hits, walked two and struck out four en route to lowering his ERA to 0.67. Katsuhiro Nagakawa picked up his 13th save.
Yoshiyuki Ishihara had a two-out RBI single in the second inning and Kenta Kurihara added a two-run homer in the third off Takayuki Kishi (6-1).
Hawks 3, Swallows 2
At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Toshiya Sugiuchi (5-1) pitched seven innings of one-run ball and helped his own cause with an RBI single in the second as Softbank beat Yakult to extend its winning streak to a season-high five games.
Jose Ortiz hit a solo homer off Masanori Ishikawa (6-2) in the first, his third home run in four games. Nobuhiko Matsunaka hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth to push the Hawks’ lead to 3-1 after the Swallows pulled within a run in the seventh.
BayStars 6, Eagles 5
At Yokohama Stadium, Seiichi Uchikawa singled in two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving Yokohama a “sayonara win” over Tohoku Rakuten.
Uchikawa singled on a ground ball to right field with one out and the bases loaded, finishing 3-for-4 with three RBIs.
Kimiyasu Kudo (1-1) picked up his first win in two years with a scoreless ninth. Koji Aoyama (0-1) took the loss.
Dragons 10, Fighters 4
At Nagoya Dome, Tsuyoshi Wada broke a 2-2 tie with a sixth-inning RBI double and Chunichi put the game away batting around in a seven-run seventh in a romp over Hokkaido Nippon Ham.
Wada doubled off Keisaku Itokazu (0-1) with one out to score Tony Blanco all the way from first. The Dragons piled on six hits in the next inning, featuring Blanco’s two-run double.
Kenta Asakura (5-2) limited the damage to two runs in 6 1/3 innings, despite yielding eight hits.
Tigers 4, Marines 3
At Koshien Stadium, Takahiro Arai had a go-ahead three-run homer in the sixth inning and Hanshin held off Chiba Lotte.
Hanshin overturned a 2-0 deficit with a sacrifice fly by Tomoaki Kanemoto followed by Arai’s blast over the right-center wall off Naoyuki Shimizu (1-3) with one out in the sixth. Chase Lambin hit a solo shot for the Marines the seventh.
Yasutomo Kubo (1-2) allowed two runs, one earned, in six innings. Kyuji Fujikawa worked the ninth to pick up his third save — his first since April 16.