Fujimoto makes solid first impression for Swallows


Newly acquired Tokyo Yakult Swallows shortstop Atsushi Fujimoto showed the skills to possibly fill the No. 2 spot in the lineup in a 5-5 tie against the Chunichi Dragons on Saturday in the first game of the 2010 Nippon Professional Baseball preseason schedule.

Fujimoto, who joined the Swallows from the Hanshin Tigers to get more playing time, pulled a grounder to the right side to move a runner to second in the first inning and delivered an RBI single in the fourth at Chatan Stadium.

Rookie Chunichi outfielder Yusuke Matsui hit a two-run home run in the third off left-hander Kyohei Muranaka.

Nobumasa Fukuda went 3-for-5 with an RBI for Chunichi in the game ended after nine innings under the preseason rules.

No games are scheduled in the next five days before the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks take on the Hiroshima Carp on Friday at Yahoo Dome.

A total of 90 exhibition games will be played. The Pacific League begins its regular season on March 20 and the Central League six days later.