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Morimoto doubles as BayStars beat Swallows

by David Hueston and Dave Hueston

Kyodo

Hichori Morimoto hit a two-run double in the third inning, rookie Kota Suda pitched six scoreless frames and the last-place Yokohama BayStars snapped a three-game losing streak in a 4-1 victory over the first-place Tokyo Yakult Swallows on Sunday.

Suda (2-5) helped his own cause with a one-out single in the third followed by Takehiro Ishikawa’s double to deep center, placing runners at second and third for Morimoto, who doubled off the wall in left-center for a 2-0 lead at Jingu Stadium.

“I’m glad we could get the win today. I did a good job,” said Morimoto. “I feel a lot of pressure to perform for the team. There’s no room for error,” he said.

Suda escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first and surrendered four hits on the day. Yokohama closer Shun Yamaguchi retired three in the ninth for his 15th save.

“My control wasn’t that good today, so I was just trying to keep my pitches down low in the strike zone. I want to keep pitching like this till the end of the season,” said Suda.

Shuichi Murata added a run-scoring double in the sixth and another run scored the same frame on Tatsuyoshi Masubuchi’s wild pitch. Masubuchi (3-4) yielded four runs in six innings of the loss.

“I gave up the opening run. I wanted to keep us in the game with strong pitching, but I couldn’t do it today. I have to be much more focused when I pitch. But my pitching wasn’t that bad,” said Masubuchi.

Hiroyasu Tanaka hit a sac fly in the eighth but it was too little, too late for Yakult, which saw its winning streak against Yokohama snapped at six games.

Giants 4, Tigers 2

At Koshien Stadium, rookie Hirokazu Sawamura tossed seven shutout innings, Alex Ramirez went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and Yomiuri leapfrogged Hanshin into third place with its victory.

Sawamura (4-5) allowed six hits, struck out five and walked one. Ryota Wakiya had a two-run triple in the fourth against Atsushi Nomi (3-6). Craig Brazell and Lin Wei-zhu hit back-to-back RBI singles in the ninth for Hanshin, which ended its three-game winning streak.

Carp 2, Dragons 0

At Mazda Stadium, pinch hitters Tomonori Maeda and Takuro Ishii hit RBI singles in the eighth inning as Hiroshima shut out Chunichi.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Marines 3, Buffaloes 2

At QVC Marine Field, Shunsuke Watanabe (3-3) won a pitching duel against Alfredo Figaro (5-3) with a little help from pinch hitter Takeshi Kanazawa, who broke a scoreless deadlock with a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning.

Lions 5, Eagles 4

At Seibu Dome, Hiroyuki Nakajima hit a go-ahead two-run double in the sixth inning as Seibu edged Tohoku Rakuten.

Hawks 5, Fighters 2

At Yahoo Dome, Hiroki Kokubo drove in two runs on 2-for-4 hitting as PL leader Softbank snapped a two-game losing skid against Hokkaido Nippon Ham.

Tadashi Settsu (7-3) limited the damage to two runs in seven effective innings, deploying his sinker to strike out 12 batters with no walks.