Masato Furuno worked into the seventh en route to his first win of the season and his teammates gave Yomiuri starter Chris Seddon a beating as the Tokyo Yakult Swallows routed the Giants 9-1 on Wednesday evening.
Yakult hit one line drive after another off Seddon (2-1) and the soft-tossing lefty didn’t survive the third inning, allowing six runs in 2-2/3 innings. Things were so off kilter that when manager Tatsunori Hara pulled his starter he opted to make a double switch and take catcher and captain Shinnosuke Abe out at the same time.
The Giants didn’t manage a hit off Furuno (1-2) until Leslie Anderson lined a single off the wall in right to lead off the fifth. Furuno walked the first batter he faced in the game, but erased him on a first-pitch double play grounder to short.
“As soon as I threw that pitch (to Anderson) I knew it was a fat one,” Furuno said. “In the end I was able to get them out. But I need to do well consistently. Of course, in the end it doesn’t matter how you win, as long as you win.”
Wins have been in short supply for the Swallows, who were coming off a disappointing loss the day before to the Giants, when Yakult had taken the lead in the ninth, only to blow it in the bottom of the inning.
“It was a remarkable effort on his (Furuno’s) part, but it wasn’t just him,” Swallows skipper Junji Ogawa said. “Each individual felt that frustration yesterday and that was a part of what you saw tonight.
“I knew that eventually he (Furuno) would get tired and I wanted to pull him before he gave up a bunch of runs. Once something sparks that Giants lineup, you don’t know how many runs they can score.”
Yakult scored in the first with the help of a fluke hit off the ceiling at Tokyo Dome. After a pair of one-out, line singles, Wladimir Balentien hit the ceiling above shallow left field with a one-out fly that landed for a single to load the bases.
Takahiro Araki scored the opening run on Yasushi Iihara’s weak broken-bat grounder to short. A walk loaded the bases, but Seddon escaped further damage when he froze Ryoji Aikawa on an 0-2 fastball away for a called third strike.
In the third, the Swallows hammered out four straight one-out singles and got assists in their scoring efforts by a balk called on Seddon and a wild pitch.
After a balk moved two runners into scoring position, Aikawa made amends with a single that brought home one run. A wild pitch added another run. An infield single that should have been charged as an error to shortstop Hayato Sakamoto and a sacrifice set up leadoff man Tetsuto Yamada to drive in two more with a double and send Seddon packing.
Araki greeted new pitcher Shoki Kasahara with an RBI single that closed the book on Seddon, who allowed 10 hits and a walk and recorded one strikeout.
The hosts scored not long after Anderson reached with the Giants’ first hit in the fifth. With Anderson on third after a walk and a deep fly to right, No. 8 hitter Itaru Hashimoto bounced a single into right to make it 6-1.
But Furuno was able to pitch out of trouble and left with two on and one out in the seventh. Right-hander Orlando Roman quelled that threat with one pitch on a double play.
Furuno allowed one run on five hits and three walks in 6-1/3 innings. He hit a batter and struck out three. Roman retired all three batters he faced in 1-1/3 innings, lefty Kentaro Kyuko got the last out in the eighth and Chris Carpenter worked a scoreless ninth to wrap it up.
The Swallows tacked on three runs against Kyosuke Takagi, the Giants’ fourth pitcher. After two were down, a double and back-to-back homers by Hiroyasu Tanaka and Yamada put the game out of reach.
Tigers 8, Carp 4
At Koshien Stadium, Kazunari Tsuruoka broke the ice with a second-inning RBI single and Mauro Gomez highlighted the seven-run inning with a three-run homer, as all nine Hanshin starters had a hit in the team’s second straight win over CL leader Hiroshima.
Dragons at BayStars — ppd.
Buffaloes 4, Hawks 1
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Kei Igawa (2-2) allowed a run in five innings and Takahiro Okada and Teppei Tsuchiya each homered and drove in two runs apiece as PL-leading Orix beat Fukuoka Softbank and registered its fifth straight victory.
Marines 3, Eagles 2
At Sendai’s Kobo Stadium, Luis Cruz hit a tie-breaking, ninth-inning solo homer off closer Brian Falkenborg (0-1) as Chiba Lotte beat Tohoku Rakuten to stretch its winning streak to a season-high six.
Fighters 3, Lions 2
At Seibu Dome, Shohei Otani went 2-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and two walks and Hokkaido Nippon Ham snapped a four-game losing streak by holding off a late Seibu rally that included Takeya Nakamura’s first home run of the season.