Seishu Hatake lamented the fact he couldn’t pitch until the end of the Yomiuri Giants’ game against the Chunichi Dragons.
While he didn’t the shutout he was looking for, a win isn’t a bad consolation prize.
Hatake held the Dragons scoreless into the ninth and got all the run support he needed from one big inning as the Giants beat the Dragons 5-1 in front of a crowd of 10,707 at Tokyo Dome on Wednesday.
The victory gave Yomiuri its first three-game win streak of the season.
Hatake (1-1) was in total control for most of the night and left the mound having struck out nine with just one walk. He was in line for the second shutout of his career until Ariel Martinez led off the top of the ninth with a solo home run.
“I want to eliminate that kind of thing from now on,” Hatake said.
He gave up two more hits and got an out before being lifted for closer Rubby De La Rosa, who finished off Chunichi and picked up the save.
“I couldn’t throw until the end,” Hatake said afterward.
He threw the only shutout of his career on Nov. 1 of last year against the Tokyo Yakult Swallows and will have to wait at least a little longer for his second.
“He couldn’t get through the ninth to get the shutout, but I hope he can do it next time,” Yomiuri outfielder Seiya Matsubara said. “I also want to do my best to help him out a little bit more.”
The Yomiuri batters supported Hatake with five runs and six hits — all of which came during the third inning.
Kazuya Katsuki led off the frame with a hit and Daiki Masuda followed with an infield single. Hatake struck out while trying to get a bunt down, but Matsubara came through with an RBI single — after a nine-pitch at-bat — to get the home team on the board.
“Hatake was doing his best on the mound and I know he was sorry for missing the bunt, so I just wanted to do something to back him up,” Matsubara said. “I’m glad I could cover him.”
Hayato Sakamoto extended the lead with a two-run double and Takayuki Kajitani hit a two-run home run to make the score 5-0.
Dragons starter Akiyoshi Katsuno gave up all five runs and was charged with the loss. Katsuno (1-1) struck out five and walked two in four innings.
Martinez’s home run in the ninth was only the Dragons’ third in 16 games this season. The team’s other five hits on Wednesday were singles.
The Dragons, looking for a spark for their slumping lineup, gave a start to Kosuke Fukudome and put the 43-year-old in the No. 2 spot in the order.
He finished 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts, however, but also made a highlight-worthy catch in right field.
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