Brand new ball, same old Rami-chan.
Alex Ramirez snapped a long homer-less drought with a tiebreaking shot in the sixth inning and Shun Tono won for the first time in six starts as the Yomiuri Giants topped the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 4-2 on Friday in front of a crowd of 40,039 at Tokyo Dome.
“I was able to come through with a hit to tie the game in the first inning and happy I hit the go-ahead home run in the sixth,” Ramirez said.
The home run was the first for Ramirez in 13 games, and the first by a Giants player at Tokyo Dome since Ramirez went deep against the Hanshin Tigers on May 5.
“It’s been a long time since I hit a home run,” Ramirez said. “So it was good I could hit one tonight and especially for our home fans and Tono.”
Tono (2-5) won his start on Opening Day, didn’t get a decision in his second outing and lost the next five before helping the Giants beat the Eagles.
“He finally got a win,” Giants manager Tatsunori Hara said. “He’s a tough pitcher, so if he keeps pitching like this, he will win many more.”
Tono allowed a run to score on a wild pitch in the first, but went on to throw six innings of one-run ball.
“I gave up a run in the first without allowing a hit, but I was able to settle down after that,” Tono said.
Tono allowed five hits and struck out six. Yuya Kubo and Jonathan Albaladejo each worked a scoreless inning in relief and Levi Romero earned his 11th save of the season despite allowing a run in the ninth.
“I’m glad I helped Tono today,” Ramirez said. “He’s been pitching great and he’s been showing that he’s our No. 1 guy. We haven’t been able to produce lately, but today we did.
Hopefully we can continue helping him.”
Ramirez finished 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. The home run in the sixth was his ninth of the year.
Ramirez had a chance to break a 1-1 tie in the fifth inning with two outs and a runner on first, but Daisuke Fujimura was thrown out trying to steal second.
The Giants slugger made the most of the next opportunity, sending the first pitch of the sixth inning into the stands in left field.
Hisayoshi Chono finished 2-for-4 and drove in a run for Yomiuri and Shigeyuki Furuki was also credited with an RBI.
Veteran Takeshi Yamasaki led the way for the Eagles at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double. Motohiro Shima recorded the team’s only RBI with a groundout in the ninth.
Rookie Takahiro Shiomi (1-2) was charged with the loss after allowing three runs on seven hits in 5? innings.
The Eagles got off to an early lead with Tono’s wild pitch allowing Ryo Hijirisawa to score from third in the first.
Ramirez tied the score with an RBI single in the bottom half of the inning, then put the Giants ahead with his homer in the sixth.
Yomiuri added an insurance run on an RBI groundout by Furuki in the sixth, and Chono had an RBI single in the seventh.