Between being hit in the face with a pitch and struggling at the plate early this year, it’s safe to say Yoshiyuki Kamei’s season hasn’t been going well.
He wasn’t having the best of days on Thursday either, but one swing of the bat took care of that.
Kamei’s tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning ended up being the difference for the Yomiuri Giants in a 4-3 win over the Hiroshima Carp at Tokyo Dome.
“I haven’t been playing well and missed on the sacrifice bunt attempt earlier (in the sixth),” Kamei said. “So I wanted to do something to make up for that. I feel a lot better now.”
Kamei stepped to the plate in the eighth with two outs and the score knotted at 3-3. With the count in his favor, Kamei connected on a fastball, putting the Giants ahead with his first home run of the season.
“With two outs and none on, I was looking for something I could drive,” Kamei said. “I was lucky to get a good pitch over the plate.”
Kamei had a 2-for-3 day at the dish. Yoshinobu Takahashi also homered for the Giants and shortstop Hayato Sakamoto was 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Scott Mathieson (1-0) struck out four in two innings of relief to earn the win, while Kentaro Nishimura recorded his sixth save.
Hiroshima’s Kam Mickolio (1-2) was charged with the loss.
Giants pitcher Shoki Kasahara finished outside of the decision in his first career start. He threw four innings and allowed three runs on six hits. Kasahara struck out three and walked two.
Sakamoto drove in the game’s first run, lining an RBI single over the glove of leaping second baseman Akihiro Higashide, before Takahashi’s two-run shot put Yomiuri ahead 3-0 in the third.
Dragons blank Tigers
Left-hander Yudai Kawai pitched seven scoreless innings and Tony Blanco homered as the Chunichi Dragons beat the Hanshin Tigers 3-0 on Thursday to keep their unbeaten streak alive at six games, including a tie.
Kawai (1-0) scattered five hits, struck out four and walked none at Nagoya Dome.
Blanco led off the second with a drive to center off Yuya Ando (2-1). Naomichi Donoue added a two-run double the same frame.
BayStars 3, Swallows 1
At Yokohama Stadium, Norihiro Nakamura drove in two runs in support of Opening Day starter Kentaro Takasaki, who limited the damage to one run in seven innings against Tokyo Yakult to help Yokohama end a six-game losing streak.
Left-hander Kyohei Muranaka (3-1) took the loss after allowing two runs and seven hits in six innings of work.
The Swallows’ Shinya Miyamoto went 0-for-3 with a bases-loaded walk to remain one shy from his 2,000th career hit.
Marines 6, Buffaloes 1
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Shunsuke Watanabe (1-1) threw one-run ball, despite allowing seven hits over eight innings as Chiba Lotte beat Orix.
Saburo Omura had a two-run single to highlight a four-run fifth. Tadahito Iguchi hit an RBI single among his three hits.
Evan MacLane (2-2) took the loss for the Buffaloes.
Hawks 2, Fighters 0
At Sapporo Dome, Wily Mo Pena homered twice, and Nagisa Arakaki (3-1) tossed eight scoreless innings of three-hit ball as Fukuoka Softbank swept Hokkaido Nippon Ham in three games.
Pena hit a solo drive in the second against Brian Wolfe (2-2) and went deep again in the eighth.
Lions 6, Eagles 1
At Seibu Dome, Shogo Akiyama went 4-for-4 with three RBIs, Hirotaka Koishi tossed seven scoreless innings en route to his first career win, and Seibu ended a three-game skid with a rout of Tohoku Rakuten.
Akiyama had a run-scoring single in the third and a two-run triple in the fifth.
Manabu Mima (0-1) was roughed up for six runs and 10 hits in six innings of the loss.