• Kyodo


Takahiro Saeki, Shuichi Murata and Hitoshi Tamura each delivered two-run homers as the Yokohama BayStars churned out 17 hits to send the Yomiuri Giants to their fifth loss in six games with a 14-6 rout on Thursday.

Saeki drove in six runs on a 4-for-5 night while Tatsuhiko Kinjo also had four hits with three RBIs in a Central League game at Yokohama Stadium.

Southpaw Yoshihiro Doi (1-0) got plenty of support over the distance to earn his first complete-game victory in his eighth pro year, despite allowing 13 hits and six runs.

Yokohama broke a 1-1 tie with a five-run fourth and took a comfortable 8-1 lead by the fifth.

Veteran lefty Kimiyasu Kudo (0-1) was chased in four-plus innings, allowing eight runs and 11 hits. Yomiuri’s Gabe Kapler hit his second homer this season — a two-run blast in the sixth.

Swallows 4, Dragons 2

At Jingu Stadium, Shinya Miyamoto hit a sixth-inning leadoff double before scoring the go-ahead run on an Akinori Iwamura RBI groundout as Yakult snapped a four-game losing streak after an Opening Day victory.

Yakult team captain Atsuya Furuta and Noriyuki Shiroishi added run-scoring doubles in the seventh. Shohei Tateyama pitched one-run ball over five sharp innings before handing the game to Yataro Sakamoto (1-1), who pitched two scoreless frames for the win.

Carp 10, Tigers 9

At Hiroshima Stadium, Shigenobu Shima hit a two-run blast off Tomoyuki Kubota (0-1) in the bottom of the ninth and pinch-hitter Itsuki Asai followed with a bases-loaded walkoff single to put an end to the see-saw contest.

Andy Sheets hit two-run homers in consecutive at-bats for the Tigers, who took the lead four times and had four homers on the night compared with three for the Carp. Rookie Tomohiro Umetsu (1-0) got the win in relief.

Cromartie to manage Samurai Bears

Former Yomiuri Giants player Warren Cromartie will manage the Samurai Bears, a newly formed all-Japanese team joining a U.S. independent professional baseball league, officials of the inaugural league said Thursday.

Cromartie will step into the role as skipper while Tsuneo Horii, who was pitching coach for the Yokohama BayStars minor league team until last year, was selected as a coach prior to the inauguration of the Golden Baseball League next month.

A partial list of players, including 30-year-old outfielder Kazuhiro Kono who played for another U.S. independent league last year, was announced the same day.

The names of 14 players who passed a club tryout will be announced soon. Former professional baseball players might also join the team.

The Samurai Bears are one of seven teams that will form the Golden Baseball League, which will play games in California and Arizona. The regular season will kick off May 26 and run until September.

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