Miles Mikolas is on a roll and he’s not ready for it to stop anytime soon.
Mikolas delivered yet another strong outing, this time with a few family members in the stands, and Shinnosuke Abe gave him all the run support he needed in the Yomiuri Giants’ 2-1 win over the Yokohama BayStars in front of a crowd of 45,222 on Tuesday night at Tokyo Dome.
“I’m feeling good,” Mikolas said. “When you’ve got some good energy, it’s best to just keep rolling with it. I’ve been fortunate to keep that rolling and have a very good string of good outings.”
Mikolas (9-3) went the distance and allowed one run on four hits while lowering his ERA to 1.98, second only to teammate Tomoyuki Sugano (1.79) in the Central League. He struck out 10 and didn’t walk any batters.
“Mikolas pitched a great game,” Giants manager Tatsunori Hara said. “I am glad I stuck with him for the entire game.”
Mikolas was in control most of the night, but the BayStars forced him to produce one last flourish in order to nail down the win.
Yokohama’s Tomo Otosaka gave the BayStars life with a fly ball to center that diving outfielder Soichiro Tateoka couldn’t corral. Otosaka turned on the jets as the ball rolled away from Tateoka and ended up on third with a one-out triple.
Mikolas responded by striking out Shotaro Ide on three pitches, ending the at-bat with a 149-kph fastball for a called third strike. Mikolas then retired Takayuki Kajitani on one pitch to end the game, with Otosaka still standing on third.
“It’s the last inning, that’s when you gotta let it all hang out,” Mikolas said. “He got on third base and I knew I had to make some good pitches.”
Abe drove in both runs for the Giants with a single in the third and finished 2-for-3.
“I hadn’t been hitting well, so I’m happy I was able to get that hit and put us ahead,” Abe said.
Yomiuri captain Hayato Sakamoto gave up his day off on Monday to work out at Giants Stadium, and saw immediate results as he went 3-for-3 against the BayStars. Tateoka also recorded three hits.
Yokohama first baseman Jose Lopez, who led the Giants with 22 home runs last year, went deep for the 17th time as a BayStar to lead off the fifth.
“It was a bad pitch, and he really put a good swing on it,” Mikolas said. “I tip my hat to him, but I was able to get back on track after that.”
Mikolas didn’t win his first game of the season until late May, but left the Big Egg on Tuesday tied with four other pitchers for the CL lead in wins. He’s been on fire since May 28, going 9-1 over 11 starts. Mikolas has won seven straight decisions.
It’s been a while since everything has worked this well.
“As a starter, I’d go back to college (Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida),” he said. “When I was in college I had a real good run my junior year. Since professional ball, it would’ve been 2011. I was the closer for a Single-A and then a Double-A team and had a very successful year. I felt like everything was clicking and I felt really good.” Mikolas pitched in the San Diego Padres system for the Lake Elsinore Storm (A) and the San Antonio Missions (AA) in 2011.
On Tuesday, Mikolas got an extra charge from having his dad, aunt and brother in the stands alongside his wife, Lauren.
“It’s a special feeling,” Mikolas said. “Makes you walk taller and feel proud to perform this well in front of your family.”
The Giants should be in high spirits as well since the victory snapped a four-game losing streak that included getting swept by the Hiroshima Carp.
“If feels good to win after those three losses to Hiroshima,” Hara said. “I’m looking forward to another win tomorrow.”
Yamanaka stifles Carp
Hiroshima — Tokyo Yakult’s Hirofumi Yamanaka (6-0) threw a five-hitter for his first career shutout and the Swallows earned a 5-0 victory over the Hiroshima Carp on Tuesday in the Central League.
Yakult chased Hiroshima’s Hiroki Kuroda (7-5) after five innings, tagging him for all five runs.
Tigers 3, Dragons 1
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Atsushi Nomi (9-9) grabbed a share of the league lead in wins by pitching one-run ball over eight innings, and Hanshin beat Chunichi to capture its third straight win, moving a season-high five games over .500.
Lions 2, Fighters 1
At Tokorozawa’s Seibu Prince Dome, Takayuki Kishi (2-4) outdueled Hokkaido Nippon Ham ace Shohei Otani (11-3), leading Seibu to victory with a 131-pitch, complete-game effort.
Otani also went the distance but gave up a two-run shot to Ernesto Mejia in the seventh.
Hawks 7, Buffaloes 6
At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Yuki Yanagita’s two-out, three-run walk-off blast off Orix’s Tatsuya Sato (1-7) capped a five-run ninth inning for Fukuoka Softbank.
Marines at Eagles — ppd.
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