Yakult Swallows infielder Akinori Iwamura made a new request Tuesday to the Central League club to switch to the major leagues next season via the posting system.
Iwamura, 26, asked Yakult team president Yoshikazu Tagiku that he be allowed to fulfill his dream of playing in the majors through the auction system, in which major league teams present sealed bids for Japanese players.
“There are some complications, but I have my dream. I only have one chance in this life of baseball,” said Iwamura, who was batting .318 with 29 homers before Tuesday’s game against the Chunichi Dragons. “I’ve been asked (by the president) to stay for next season. He told me that I’m a necessary member of the team.”
Iwamura plans to travel to the United States to look at major league clubs after the season ends and begin formal talks with the Swallows upon his return.
He had hoped to move to the majors through the posting system after the 2004 season, but decided to take a 64 million yen pay raise which boosted his annual salary to 174 million yen.
‘Stars drop Tigers
NISHINOMIYA, Hyogo Pref. (Kyodo) Tatsuhiko Kinjo turned the game around with a sixth-inning two-run homer as the Yokohama BayStars outslugged the Central League champion Hanshin Tigers 6-4 on Tuesday night.
Yokohama took a 3-2 lead on a solo homer by Hitoshi Tamura in the fifth and Kinjo’s two-run blast off Kei Igawa (13-9) in the sixth at Koshien Stadium, overcoming back-to-back homers by Lin Wei-zhu and Tomoaki Kanemoto for Hanshin in the fourth.
Daisuke Miura (11-9) allowed two runs and three hits in six innings while striking out eight.
Marc Kroon allowed one run, but closed out the ninth for his 26th save.
Giants 3, Carp 2
At Tokyo Dome, Mototsugu Kawanaka hit two homers and drove in all three runs to lead Yomiuri over Hiroshima.
Kawanaka blasted a two-run shot in the first inning and connected off Hiroki Kuroda (14-11) again in the sixth to stretch the lead to 3-1.
Takahiko Nomaguchi (4-3) held the Carp to one run and four hits in six innings after carrying a perfect game into the fifth and won his first decision since July 18.
Swallows 2, Dragons 1
At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Katsutoshi Ishido pitched seven strong innings and Akinori Iwamura went 2-for-3 with an RBI double as Yakult beat Chunichi.
Ishido (1-2) picked up his first win of the season after holding the Dragons to one run and six hits.
The Swallows got on the board on a Kosei Ono RBI single in the second and made it 2-0 on Iwamura’s two-out RBI double off right-hander Kenichi Nakata (8-3) in the fifth.
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