Yokohama BayStars manager Kiyoshi Nakahata soaked up the cheers from the fans who made the trip from Yokohama as he left the field. Just before disappearing into the tunnel leading to the team’s clubhouse, he waved his hat and screamed out that the BayStars were going for another win tomorrow.
Nakahata never misses a chance to ham it up for the crowd, but his antics probably feel a lot sweeter after a win.
Shugo Fujii pieced together a decent start in his former home park, Hichori Morimoto put the game away with a three-run home run in the sixth, and the BayStars defeated the Tokyo Yakult Swallows 6-1 on Tuesday night at Jingu Stadium.
“Everyone did their part, and we got three timely hits tonight,” Nakahata said. “I’m happy that we were able to take advantage of our chances.”
The win snapped the BayStars’ four-game losing streak. Yakult has lost three straight.
Fuji began his career with the Swallows in 2000 and spent seven years with the team. On Tuesday he held his former team to one run on three hits, striking out five and walking one to win his third consecutive start, lowering his ERA to 2.68 in the process.
“I just focused on doing my job,” Fujii said.
BayStars slugger Alex Ramirez, Fujii’s teammate with Yakult from 2001-2007 and with the Yomiuri Giants in 2010 and 2011, drove in the game’s first run with an RBI double in the first and finished 1-for-2 with a walk. He was pinch-hit for by Morimoto in the sixth.
Yakult evened the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the first on Ryuji Miyade’s run-scoring single, but the BayStars retook the lead in fifth, when Sho Aranami scored from third on an wild pitch to Randy Ruiz.
Norihiro Nakamura came up with two outs and runners on the corners in the sixth and lined an RBI single in to center to make the score 3-1. Morimoto put the game away with his three-run homer in the eighth, choosing to sprint around the bases rather than take a usual home run trot.
“Hichori’s home run was really big for us,” Nakahata said. “That was interesting,” he added when asked about Morimoto’s dash around the diamond.
Swallows starter Orlando Roman had a shaky outing. Roman (4-7) walked seven, was charged with a balk in his 5 2/3 innings on the mound and was fortunate to give up only three runs. Roman allowed five hits and struck out four.
Giants win fifth straight
Edgar Gonzalez had a tiebreaking RBI single and Hisayoshi Chono and Yoshitomo Tani added runs on a single and sacrifice fly as the Yomiuri Giants defeated the Hiroshima Carp 7-4 on Tuesday, extending their winning streak to five.
Satoshi Fukuda (4-1) won in relief and Scott Mathieson worked the ninth for his eighth save. The Giants capitalized on a defense error in a four-run fourth.
Tigers 1, Dragons 0
At Koshien Stadium, Jason Standridge (5-4) scattered eight hits over six innings, and Takahiro Arai doubled in Matt Murton in the third for the game’s only run in a win over Chunichi.
Kazuki Yoshimi (5-4) took the loss. The Tigers, who had lost 10 of their previous 11 games, had seven hits to Chunichi’s 11. Murton went 3-for-4.
Lions 5, Hawks 2
At Tokorozawa’s Seibu Dome, Lions right-hander Ryoma Nogami held the Hawks hitters to four hits through eight innings in Seibu’s victory over Fukuoka Softbank.
The 25-year-old worked 8-1/3 innings before a two-run homer by Wily Mo Pena ended his bid for his first career shutout. An ensuing double by Seiichi Uchikawa cut short Nogami’s bid for his first career complete game as Hideaki Wakui was brought in to close it out.
Nogami (3-3) gave up two runs on seven hits. He struck out two and walked two. Wakui, who has become Seibu’s closer after struggling as a starter this season, struck out the first batter he faced and ended the game on a flyout for the save.
“I thought I was in for big trouble when I warmed up before the game in the bullpen,” said Nogami, the Lions’ second draft pick in 2008. “My fastballs were all high. I thought, ‘I’m going to have to make them go after my breaking pitches.'”
Fighters 5, Marines 1
At Sapporo Dome, Masaru Takeda (5-5) allowed a run in 7 1/3 innings, and Yang Dai-kang drove in three runs as second-place Hokkaido Nippon Ham cooled Pacific League-leading Chiba Lotte, closing the gap between them to four games.
Yang’s RBI double tied the game 1-1 against Marines lefty Yoshihisa Naruse (8-4) in the bottom of the fourth. The Taiwan international delivered the knockout blow in the eighth with a two-run triple.
Eagles 6, Buffaloes 3 (10)
At Sendai’s Kleenex Stadium, Shintaro Masuda hit a three-run walkoff homer off Mamoru Kishida (2-2) in the 10th inning to lift Tohoku Rakuten over Orix.
The Eagles’ Kazuo Matsui tied it 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI double after PL home run leader Lee Dae Ho had given the visitors a one-run lead in the top of the inning with his 15th homer.