Rookie right-hander Mizuki Tsuchida kept Yomiuri from sinking in the fourth inning and the Giants came back with a vengeance, overcoming a three-run deficit to clobber the Hanshin Tigers 12-3 on Wednesday.
Before 44,837 at Tokyo Dome, Tsuchida (1-0) took the mound in relief of ace Tetsuya Utsumi and inherited a two-on, no-out jam. The Tigers loaded the bases on a sharp infield single and were poised to blow the game open, but Tsuchida got a double play before striking out Tigers pitcher Atsushi Nomi swinging to end the inning.
Nomi (9-10) allowed no hits or walks to the first 10 batters he faced, but the game got away from him in a heartbeat in the fifth. He retired just one batter, while allowing six runs on six hits. Hanshin needed two more pitchers to get out of the 12-run inning.
Hisayoshi Chono and Yoshiyuki Kamei opened the inning with singles before Shuichi Murata put the Giants on the board with the first of Yomiuri’s six doubles in the inning. Murata doubled twice in the inning and drove in five runs, while Yasuyuki Kataoka drove in four runs with a single and a double before the dust cleared.
The six doubles tied a Central League record, while the 12 runs fell one short of the league record for runs in an inning.
Tsuchida allowed two runners in the fifth, but finished with a pair of scoreless innings and his first win of the season.
The victory lifted the Giants to within 1½ games of the front-running Tigers.
Swallows 8, BayStars 3
At Yokohama Stadium, Yasuhiro “Ryan” Ogawa (8-6) allowed a run in eight innings and Tokyo Yakult mauled BayStars ace and pitching coach Daisuke Miura (4-5) for five runs over two innings.
Dragons 8, Carp 1
At Nagoya Dome, Chunichi’s Raul Valdes (3-8) allowed a run over six innings to outduel Hiroshima’s Kris Johnson (9-6), who gave up two runs — one earned — in six before the Dragons hammered the Carp bullpen for six runs in the eighth inning.
Lions 6, Eagles 1
At Saitama’s Seibu Prince Dome, Yusei Kikuchi (7-7) allowed an unearned run on four hits and a walk over six innings, and Takumi Kuriyama’s two-run, fourth-inning home run overturned a 1-0 deficit in Seibu’s win over Tohoku Rakuten.
Buffaloes 2, Hawks 1
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, SoftBank starter Kenichi Nakata (7-5) went the distance but blew a one-run lead in the fourth, when Hiroyuki Nakajima and Tony Blanco hit back-to-back homers to open the inning. Orix’s Daiki Tomei (7-5) allowed a run in seven innings to earn the win.
Fighters 7, Marines 2
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Hayato Arakaki (1-1) stepped in as a late replacement for under-the-weather starter Luis Mendoza and earned the victory against Lotte, allowing two runs in five innings. Tomoya Ichikawa drove in Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s first three runs, and broke 2-2 tie in the sixth with an RBI single.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.