Youngsters Shin & Shun Shine in Blowout Win
Game 10 – Tuesday 4/5: Last season, the Hanshin Tigers finished the season 9-16 against the Yomiuri Giants, including a pitiful 2-11 record at Tokyo Dome. This included three losses to Tuesday’s starter Poreda. However, this is a completely different Tiger team.
Shun Takayama started things off with a single and was brought home on a Kosuke Fukudome single after a couple of outs. Unfortunately, the Giants responded with a run of their own in the bottom half, parlaying two hits and a bunt into a tie game.
The next inning, starter Shintaro Fujinami righted his pitching ship and also started off the top of the third with a single to right. Aggressive base running got him to third on Takayama’s second hit of the game, and even more aggressive running brought him home on Shintaro Yokota‘s chopper to pitcher. Fukudome collected another RBI on a sacrifice fly and Yokota made it 4-1 on a throwing error by the Giants’ catcher.
Meanwhile, Fujinami continued to cruise and the offense gave him another boost in the sixth. Mauro Gomez walked and then stole his second career base. He would score two hits later, on a Tsuyoshi Nishioka infield single that was pure hustle. Fujinami walked to load the bases, and Takayama knocked in two with a double to right. That would be the end of Poreda’s night, and the game was well out of reach.
An inning later, Fujinami made perhaps his lone mistake on the night, as Donoue launched a screamer into the right field stands. Nevertheless, the young ace brought his A game on this night, going eight innings, allowing just six hits while walking only ONE, and striking out twelve on 114 pitches. He also scored a run and reached base twice.
The gap between the Giants and Tigers now sits at 0.5 games, with two more left in this series. Should be a great rest of the series.