Fukudome, Egoshi hit HRs, Tigers Romp 10-1
Last season, the Tigers won just 2 games at Tokyo Dome in 13 tries. They needed just 3 games to match the total under new manager Tomoaki Kanemoto.
Game 12 – Thursday, 4/7: Despite the clean-up hitters striking out consecutively to Giants rookie pitcher Kentaro Taira, they were able to chase him before the fourth inning was over. The game seemed to turn on Taira’s “hit” to right field in the bottom of the third – the one that saw him gunned down at first by Kosuke Fukudome. In his subsequent at bat following a Matt Hague walk, Fukudome crushed the second pitch he saw deep into the right field stands. The fun continued as Takashi Toritani walked, Tsuyoshi Nishioka singled and Taichi Okazaki walked the bases loaded. With two outs, starting pitcher Randy Messenger sliced one just out of the second baseman’s reach, scoring two more.
The party had just started, though. The very next inning, the Tigers got five more – on a Mauro Gomez single, a Toritani sacrifice fly, an Okazaki double (scoring two), and a wild pitch.
On the mound, Messenger was his solid self. He got himself into a few jams – a leadoff double in the first, and again with runners on second and third with no outs in the fifth. Both times he calmly induced infield pop-ups and ground outs to keep the bagels coming. In the sixth, the Giants put a single up on the board on a soft single over short.
Just to give the Tigers double digits for the first time on the year, as well as to give Kanemoto more to think about when shaping his lineup, pinch hitter Taiga Egoshi hit a long ball to start the ninth.
Final Score: Tigers 10, Giants 1.
The Tigers return to Koshien three games over .500, and end their road trip with an impressive 5-3-1 record. Click here for a look at the current standings.