It wasn’t pretty, but the Yomiuri Giants will take it. A win is a win after all.
Edgar Gonzalez hit a come-from-behind two-run single in the seventh inning, relievers Daisuke Ochi and Marc Kroon shut the door in the final two frames, and the Giants edged the Yokohama BayStars 8-6 on Friday at Tokyo Dome.
“I was a little anxious, but I wanted to be in that situation,” Gonzalez said. “When the pitcher fell behind, I looked for a good pitch to hit and I got it.”
The Giants entered the game coming off a three-game sweep at the hands of the Tokyo Yakult Swallows and had lost five of their last six as well as their place atop the CL standings.
They’re hoping the win — which coupled with the Hanshin Tigers’ loss to the Swallows put them back in first place– is the start of better things to come.
“Always after a losing streak, comes a winning streak,” Giants slugger Alex Ramirez said. “So we’re going to keep winning.”
Gonzalez finished 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs, and has recorded multiple hits in four of his last five games.
“Edgar’s hit was the winning blow for us,” Giants manager Tatsunori Hara said.
The Giants trailed by a run entering the seventh and put runners on first and second after BayStars pitcher Yataro Sakamoto issued one-out walks to Michihiro Ogasawara and Ramirez.
Catcher Kazunari Tsuruoka loaded the bases with a single, but Yoshinobu Takahashi followed with a flyout to left that was too shallow to score the runner from third.
That brought Gonzalez to the plate, and he delivered with a single into right that brought home Ogasawara and Ramirez.
Takahashi, Hayato Sakamoto and Ogasawara each homered for the Giants. Takahashi, who finished 2-for-4 with an RBI, thought he had a second in the sixth, but settled for a double after replays showed his deep drive to left bounced off the top of the fence.
Ramirez drove in two runs and stole a base on a 4-for-4 night and Yoshitomo Tani finished with an RBI after a pinch-hit single in the sixth.
Ramirez’s steal was his first of the season.
“The last time I stole a base was four years ago,” Ramirez said.
“I’m not sure if I got the sign, but happy I ran.”
Yomiuri’s Yuya Kubo (6-1) won in relief after tossing one scoreless inning.
Ochi kept the BayStars off the board in the eighth and Kroon worked a scoreless ninth for his 17th save of the season.
Yataro Sakamoto (0-1) took the loss for Yokohama.
Terrmel Sledge hit his 23rd home run of the year to lead the BayStars.