NAGOYA – Yuya Yanagi bounced back from a tough first inning to work seven innings and win for the first time in two months as the Chunichi Dragons defeated the Yokohama BayStars 8-3 on Saturday.
Yanagi (10-5) surrendered back-to-back first-inning home runs at Nagoya Dome to Jose Lopez and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, but then kept the visitors in check until they put three men on to open the seventh. The right-hander allowed three runs on five hits. He struck out eight while walking two.
“Because so many fans kept cheering me on while I wasn’t winning, I’m so happy to repay the fans for the strength they lent to me,” said Yanagi, who last won on July 7.
The Dragons bounced back in the bottom of the first as Yota Kyoda singled and Nobumasa Fukuda walked. A Dayan Viciedo RBI double drove in Kyoda, and Fukuda scored the tying run on a groundout.
BayStars rookie Taiga Kamichatani (6-6) helped out with an error in Chunichi’s four-run second.
After Shota Ono’s solid leadoff single, Kamichatani juggled the ensuing sacrifice bunt by Yanagi, allowing the pitcher to reach on an error. Yohei Oshima’s perfect bunt single between the mound and home loaded the bases with no outs.
Kyoda delivered a sacrifice fly to open the scoring, and Fukuda put a good swing on a two-strike forkball low in the zone and doubled to left. Viciedo’s sacrifice fly scored Oshima, and Shuhei Takahashi lined a fastball to center to cap the four-run rally.
Dragons relievers Hiroto Fuku and Toshiya Okada sealed the win with one scoreless inning apiece.
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