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Giant comeback downs Marines

by John E. Gibson (May 21, 2008)

Lotte rookie hurler and his chance at history were long gone when the Yomiuri Giants swatted Lotte pitching around for a confidence-building 12-11 comeback win in a Chiba Marine Stadium slugfest on Tuesday's opening night of interleague play.

Alex Ramirez smacked a three-run home run to cap a four-run eighth as the stubborn Giants outlasted Lotte and broke a six-game skid here dating back to 2005.

The Giants amassed a season-high 23 hits and 12 runs to beat Lotte.

Down by six runs after three innings, the Giants tied the score in the top of the seventh only to see the Marines take a two-run lead in the bottom half of the frame.

"We never put our heads down and we just kept coming back and coming back, and our pitchers did a good job and we scored some runs, so I'm very happy," said Ramirez, who said he was looking for something outside on his homer.

"I went there looking for something away and it was there and I put a good swing on it."

Said Yomiuri skipper Tatsunori Hara: "We were down by six runs, but the players didn't put their heads down and did a good job of stringing hits together."

Yuki Karakawa, Lotte's 18-year-old phenom, had a five-run lead after four innings and seemed a lock be the first pro to ever start and win his first four games. Instead, he fell one out short of being the pitcher of record, allowing 13 hits and six runs. His 91 pitches failed to get him through the fifth , when he allowed three runs on five hits.

"There was too big a difference between my good pitches and bad pitches, and the ones that got too much of the plate got hit," said Karakawa. "I tried not to think about them being the Giants, but they really are a team with a good lineup."

Lotte skipper Bobby Valentine tried to give the righty a chance at the record, but the Giants kept rolling hits through the infield.

"In a normal situation, I probably would have been taken out of the game earlier than I was," Karakawa said. "I'm upset because I couldn't come through for the coaches who were trying to give me the chance."

Six players had multi-hit games for the Giants, led by Michihiro Ogasawara, who went 4-for-5 with an RBI before leaving for a defensive replacement in the ninth inning.

Jose Ortiz went 4-for-5 with three doubles and three RBIs for Lotte, which has dropped five of its past seven and is seven games under .500 in last place.

The teams combined for 23 runs and 37 hits.


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