In the 12th and final frame of the game, Yakult first baseman Roberto Petagine errored Akira Eto’s grounder in a one-out, bases-loaded situation, allowing Yomiuri to escape with a 5-4 “sayonara” win over the Swallows at the Tokyo Dome on Thursday.

Yakult second baseman Noriyuki Shiroishi homered in the seventh from Hisanori Takahashi to tie the game 4-4. Shiroishi was 3-for-5 for the night.

Takahashi went eight innnings, allowing four runs on seven hits. Five Yomiuri pitchers relayed from the ninth, yielding only three hits. Junichi Kawahara (1-0) picked up the win.

Leadoff hitter Takayuki Shimizu went 3-for-6 with a double and an RBI. Dragons 9, BayStars 2

At the Nagoya Dome, Chunichi’s offense piled up 16 hits and Kenshin Kawakami fanned 10 in seven solid innings as the Dragons won consecutive games for the first time this season.

Kazuyoshi Tatsunami went 3-for-5, driving in three runs on a home run and two doubles. He hit a two-run shot in the fifth to give the Dragons a convincing 6-2 lead.

Leadoffman Hirokazu Ibata was perfect at the plate, going 4-for-4 with an RBI. In the eighth, Motonobu Tanishige and Hiroyuki Watanabe hit back-to-back homers for Chunichi.

Kawakami (1-0) surrendered two runs on Takuro Ishii’s home run in the third, but allowed only two hits from that point.

Yokohama, with its erratic starting pitchers, has dropped at least two games in all four cards since Opening Day.

Fighters move foiled?

Pacific League officials Wednesday put on hold approval of the Nippon Ham Fighters’ request to move their franchise to Sapporo before the 2004 season in the face of renewed objections from the Seibu Lions.

The league’s executive committee members urged Tokyo-based Nippon Ham to hold talks with Seibu, which wants to make Sapporo its second home, and the government of the north city for an amicable solution to the issue.

Terahara admonished

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) The Daiei Hawks has admonished highly touted rookie pitcher Hayato Terahara for drinking alcohol during a preseason tour of eastern Japan last month, the Pacific League club said Thursday.

Terahara, who is only 18, was caught drinking at a bar in Tokyo with two elder teammates in mid-March by a weekly magazine. The minimum legal age for drinking alcohol in Japan is 20.

Daiei officials questioned Terahara about the incident and after learning the details of the case, decided to hand down a “severe warning” to the young pitcher from Miyazaki Prefecture.

“I deeply apologize for the commotion that I have caused. Thinking that I was already an adult, I went out drinking without thinking,” Terahara said. “I will take care that nothing like this happens again in the future.”

The club reported the incident to the Pacific League board of directors Wednesday and apologized.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.