The Hanshin batters were the stars of the second game of a three-game set between the Yomiuri Giants and the Tigers. One night after that offensive explosion it was the bullpens that stole the show.
The two bullpens combined to throw 10 2/3 scoreless innings as the Giants and Tigers played to a 2-2 tie Thursday at Tokyo Dome. The tie was the first of the season for the Giants.
Giants starter Hisanori Takahashi (12-2) was shaky but limited the damage to two runs over 7 1/3 innings before leaving with no decision.
Reliever Kentaro Nishimura worked 2/3 of an inning and Koji Uehara pitched the ninth and tenth innings. Kiyoshi Toyoda worked the game’s final two innings for the Giants.
Hanshin starter Esteban Yan committed his 11th balk of the season, a new Nippon Professional Baseball record, in the fifth inning while facing his counterpart, Takahashi.
That mistake sent Takahiro Suzuki to second before Takahashi moved him to third with a sacrifice bunt. Yoshinobu Takahashi followed with a hard-hit RBI single that broke a 1-1 tie.
Yan (6-4) was in line to take the loss after giving up two runs on six hits over six innings.
Yan was replaced by Jeff Williams in the top of the seventh. Williams and Tomoyuki Kubota each worked two innings before handing the reigns to Kyuji Fujikawa.
The Tigers’ JFK unit, combined for six scoreless innings to close out the game.
Osamu Hamanaka put Hanshin on the board first with a third-inning home run to left that gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead. Giants catcher Shinnosuke Abe tied the game in the fourth with a deep shot that just cleared the center field wall. The Giants took the lead in the next frame on Takahashi’s RBI single.
The Tigers pulled even again in the seventh off a deep sacrifice fly from Kentaro Sekimoto that drove in Akihiro Yano and made the score 2-2.
Dragons down Carp
NAGOYA (Kyodo) Tyrone Woods hit a two-run single and Kenta Asakura pitched eight solid innings as the Chunichi Dragons beat the Hiroshima Carp 3-1 in the Central League on Thursday.
Lee Byung Kyu put Chunichi on the board with an RBI groundout in the second inning and Woods made it 3-0 in the third when he drove in two runs with his second hit of the night at Nagoya Dome.
BayStars 9, Swallows 1
At Jingu Stadium, Seiichi Uchikawa went 3-for-5 with five RBIs and Daisuke Miura threw seven shutout innings in Yokohama’s rout of Yakult.
Fighters 4, Eagles 2
At Sapporo Dome, Yu Darvish picked up his 10th win of the season after throwing seven-plus effective innings as league-leading Hokkaido Nippon Ham beat Tohoku Rakuten.
Hawks 5, Lions 1
At Goodwill Dome, Softbank had four consecutive RBI singles in the fourth inning to back a strong outing by Rick Guttormson in a win over Seibu.
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