Brett Harper and Jose Castillo have done some of their best work this year against the Yomiuri Giants.
So it’s no real surprise the duo gave the few Yokohama BayStars fans in attendance their money’s worth.
Castillo and Harper each hit two-run home runs in support of veteran righty Tomokazu Ohka and the BayStars defeated the Giants 5-2 on Thursday at Tokyo Dome.
The win snaps a six-game losing streak for the BayStars, who are 4-10 in their last 14 games.
“I’m happy more for my team than myself,” Castillo said. “Because the team hasn’t been doing that well.”
Castillo hit a tie-breaking two-run homer in the sixth and finished 1-for-4. In 19 games against the Giants, he’s hitting .358 with six home runs and 13 RBIs, his best numbers against any Central League opponent by far.
Like his teammate, Harper has also gotten the best of Giants pitching this season.
The midseason pickup went deep in the third, driving in two runs with his 18th of the season. Harper is hitting .326 with three home runs and 14 RBIs in 11 games against the Giants.
BayStars slugger Shuichi Murata tacked on an insurance run with his team-leading 23rd homer of the year in the eighth.
The offense proved to be enough for crafty Ohka, who improved to 7-9. Ohka allowed a pair of runs on five hits and struck out three in seven innings.
He is now 2-0 in four starts against the Giants.
Reliever Shigeki Uchida worked a scoreless eighth, and closer Shun Yamaguchi kept Yomiuri off the scoreboard in the ninth.
The result was far more important for the Giants, who are still in the pennant race, than the last-place BayStars, who began the day 31 1/2 games out of first place.
The Giants entered the day trailing the first-place Chunichi Dragons by 2 1/2 games and held a slim one-game lead over the third-place Hanshin Tigers.
Yomiuri’s Shinnosuke Abe and Yoshinobu Takahashi each drove in a run, but that was all the offense the Kyojin could muster.
Abe and Alex Ramirez each finished 2-for-4 and were the only Yomiuri players to finish with multiple hits.
Giants starter Dicky Gonzalez (5-12) was touched up for four runs on five hits and struck out six over six innings.