NAGOYA – Kosuke Fukudome, Masahiko Morino, Alex Ochoa, Takayuki Onishi and Kazuyoshi Tatsunami each homered to highlight an 18-hit attack as the Chunichi Dragons crushed the Hanshin Tigers 13-4 in the Central League on Thursday.
Fukudome, batting third in the lineup, put the home team on the board in the first inning before a crowd of 35,000 with a two-run blast off Taiyo Fujita (1-2), who was sent off to an early shower after getting just two outs in the frame at Nagoya Dome.
Morino hit a three-run drive in the third for his first homer this season, before Ochoa and Onishi connected for back-to-back solo shots in the fourth and Tatsunami rendered the final blow on a two-run homer in the same inning, making a winner of Makoto Kito (1-0).
BayStars 7, Carp 3
At Yokohama Stadium, right-hander Daisuke Miura tossed a two-hitter over seven innings in his comeback mound appearance on his way to his first win since last June in the BayStars’ triumph over Hiroshima.
Miura (1-0), who pitched in just three minor-league games this season after undergoing surgery on the elbow of his throwing arm during the offseason, struck out seven and limited the damage to a Takuya Kimura solo shot in the fourth inning. He walked none.
Fans like Jojima
Daiei Hawks catcher Kenji Jojima tops the early balloting of this summer’s All-Star series while Hanshin Tigers players have so far collected the most votes in eight of nine categories in the Central League, organizers said Thursday.
Jojima, named the Pacific League MVP for the month of April with a .379 average, eight homers and 20 RBIs, received 151,429 votes since voting began April 25 while Seibu Lions shortstop Kazuo Matsui was runnerup with 145,030 and Daiei second baseman Tadahito Iguchi third in the league with 127,977.
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