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|Tokyo After a couple of ropey recent performances,
Yomiuri Giants lefty Kimiyasu Kudoh was back in the saddle Friday working
the corners and effectively utilizing his changeup that has splitter-like
action on it to go seven shutout innings on seven hits and three walks
while striking out fiveagainst Hanshin at Tokyo Dome for his 197th career
victory 1-0 . It was also the Giants first shutout of 2004, coming in a
team record worst 61st contest.
Takehito Kanazawa started for Hanshin and was outstanding, limiting the heavily armed Giants order to four hits over six shutout innings in a no decision. Ramon Morrel succeeded Kanazawa and allowed the game's only run for his first loss since coming to Japan.
Kudoh got off to a rocky beginning, as Hanshin loaded the bases on two singles and a base on balls with one out in the first, but catcher Akihiro Yano grounded into a rally killing double play.
In the second, Hanshin lost a run due to a mistake by the third base coach. Rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama singled to right and first baseman Kentaro Sekimoto reached on an infield hit. Two outs later, centerfielder Norihiro Akahoshi singled to center, but Hiyama was held up at third. The coach later admitted that Hiyama would have scored on that play if he didn't put up the stop sign. Shortstop Atsushi Fujimoto flied out to left and that was that.
Kudoh then cruised into the sixth, when leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto walked and, two outs later, Sekimoto singled to left. Unfortunately, third baseman Takashi Toritani flied out to left to extinguish that uprising.
But in the seventh, Morrel was summoned from the bullpen and rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi singled to center and, one out later, was erased on a ground ball to third by first baseman Roberto Petagine. Catcher Shinnosuke Abe singled to center. Shortstop Daisuke Motoki singled to right and Petagine scored for a 1-0 lead.
Hanshin had one last gasp in the ninth against Brian Sikorsky. With one away, Toritani singled to center. Following another out, Ikuro Katsuragi singled to center and the tying run was in scoring position. But Fujimoto fanned and that was the ballgame.
The last time the Giants had beaten the Tigers 1-0 was in 2002. Hanshin hasn't had an RBI knock with runners in scoring position in 26 innings.
For Kudoh, it was his first shiroboshi since May 21st. He was clocked in the high 80's. He also walked his 1000th man lifetime, becoming the 19th in history to do that.
|Nagoya Former high round draft choice Ryutaro
Doi, in his debut pro start for the Yokohama Bay Stars Friday at Nagoya
Dome, was phenomenal, as he fashioned seven innings of one run ball on
seven hits and didn't walk anyone while blowing five away and ended up
with a DEFEAT. That's because crafty lefthander Masahiro Yamamoto sliced
and diced his way through the Stars lineup for eight shutout innings while
scattering three hits and striking out eight to get himself a 2-0 victory.
It was Yamamoto's 29th career win against Yokohama.
Yamamoto was in trouble right after it was time to play ball, as
Yokohama shortstop Takuro Ishii singled to left and second baseman
Yamamoto had only one other problem, that being in the fourth when
Uchikawa singled to left with one away and, one out later, first
The Dragons broke the scoreless deadlock in the sixth, as second
baseman Masahiro Araki legged out an infield hit and went to second on
Their second tally was in the eighth, when Araki singled to right off of reliever Takeharu Kato with one out and shortstop Hirokazu Ibata lashed a double up the rightcenter alley, Araki sprinting all the way from first to home to make it 2-0.
Hitoki Iwase was inserted to close in the ninth and Ishii singled to left to bring the tying run to the plate. But Uchikawa grounded into a 6-4-3 double play and leftfielder Takanori Suzuki flied out to left.
The reason that Yamamoto didn't go for the complete game was that
the last two men he faced in the eighth flied out to the track on towering
drives that died. Catcher Motonobu Tanishige told manager Hiromitsu Ochiai
that Yamamoto had lost some of the edge off of his stuff and
Yamamoto also eclipsed 2500 career innings, the 43rd man in Japanese annals to accomplish that and the second Dragon (the other is Shigeru Sugishita).
|Kenjiro Kawasaki made a minor league start Friday and went five innings of one run ball. It appears that he could be elevated again soon after the all star break.||In that same game, Omar Linares connected for his first homer of
|New York Yankees leftfielder Hideki Matsui singled in four at bats
Friday against L.A. at Diodgers Stadium before a record house of 55,207
in the first meeting between the two clubs since the 1981 World Series.
The Dodgers won it 6-3, as closer Eric Gagne extended his saves streak
New York Mets shortstop Kazuo Matsui went 0-4 Friday against Detroit in a 3-2 victory to halt his six game hitting streak.
Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki went 0-4 Friday against
|Pittsburgh in a 5-4 squeaker.
Shigetoshi Hasegawa also got into the game and obtained just one out before surrendering two runs.
Contrary to an earlier report, Kasugabe Kyoei High School will not
sit out upcoming tournaments after one of its baseball team members