Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Lions hand Giants franchise-record tying 11th straight loss

Kyodo

The Yomiuri Giants, lost their 11th straight game, matching a franchise record, in an 8-5 interleague defeat to the Seibu Lions on Tuesday.

The Giants equaled the mark set in 1975, then-manager Shigeo Nagashima’s first season at the helm.

Before a crowd of 24,533 at MetLife Dome, the Giants blew a three-run lead agains the Pacific League’s Lions.

Yomiuri ace Tomoyuki Sugano, allowed five runs on nine hits and three walks over six innings. With two outs and one on in the fourth, Sugano surrendered four straight one-out singles.

In Sugano’s second time through the Seibu order, the Lions forced his pitch count up and his control slackened. He missed high to Ernesto Mejia and Shuta Tonosaki and their back-to-back RBI singles trimmed the Giants’ lead to 3-2.

Yomiuri loaded the bases in the sixth with no outs against Seibu starter Ryoma Nogami, and before he could pitch out of it, Luis Cruz’s one-out sac fly brought home one, and a Seiji Kobayashi single made it 5-2.

But Sugano couldn’t hold that lead in the bottom of the inning. He missed low and in with a slider on his seventh pitch to Takumi Kuriyama, who pulled it out to left for a solo homer. Five pitches later, Mejia drove a pitch off the top of the screen in left center for a double, and Tonosaki followed with a walk.

With one out, Ginjiro Sumitani singled in an eight-pitch at-bat, putting a good swing on a high fastball to make it a one-run game. Tonosaki then scored on a groundout to tie it 5-5.

Submariner Kazuhisa Makita (1-0) overcame three singles in the seventh, keeping the Giants off the board when Mejia gunned down a runner at the plate to end the inning.

Giants right-hander Toshiki Sakurai (0-1) faced four batters and walked three of them. Former closer Kentaro Nishimura took over and surrendered the lead, walking Mejia to force in the go-ahead run before Tonosaki delivered a sacrifice fly.

Lions captain Hideto Asamura sealed the win with an eighth-inning homer.

The Giants opened the scoring in the third on a two-run single by Yang Dai-kang. Yang had been hurt in the offseason and was playing his first game since joining Yomiuri as a free agent.

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