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Rob Smaal

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Ogasawara, Lee put in call to Dr. Longball

by Rob Smaal (May 9, 2009)

The Yomiuri Giants' version of the "Bash Brothers" were at it again on Friday night.

Michihiro Ogasawara drilled a three-run home run in the first inning and Lee Seung Yeop followed that act with a two-run jack of his own in the second as the Giants stomped the Chunichi Dragons 10-4 in Central League action at Tokyo Dome.

Ogasawara also hit a three-run homer at Tokyo Dome in Thursday"s 7-3 win over the Yokohama BayStars and Lee went yard twice in that game. On Friday, Lee also had a two-run single in the eighth inning, one of his three hits on a four-RBI night for the South Korean slugger.

"When our first two hitters got on base (in the first inning), I thought I better make the most of the chance," said Ogasawara, who went 3-for-4 himself on Friday and now has eight dingers this year.

The exploits of Ogasawara and Lee made a winner of right-hander Seth Greisinger (4-2), who gave up four runs on 10 hits through six innings. Greisinger, who struck out one, walked two and hit one batter with a pitch, benefited from four double plays turned behind him in the first five innings.

Kentaro Nishimura, Micheal Nakamura and Kiyoshi Toyoda worked a hitless inning each in relief of Greisinger.

Dragons starter Daisuke Yamai (0-2) lasted just one inning for Hiromitsu Ochai"s club. Yamai, who was lifted for a pinch hitter in the top of the second, allowed three runs on two hits--including Ogasawara's home run--and three walks.

Ochiai turned to his bullpen after that, using five relievers the rest of the way. The Giants finished the night with 15 hits, while Chunichi rapped out 10 in a losing effort.

The Giants got an RBI single from Alex Ramirez in the fourth frame to make it 6-2 and they tacked on two more runs in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Hayato Sakamoto and an RBI single off the bat of Tetsuya Matsumoto. Ramirez had three hits on the night for Yomiuri.

Tony Blanco smoked a solo homer off Greisinger to lead off the fourth inning. His shot traveled an estimated 150 meters, over a smoke-detector billboard behind the bleachers in left-center. It was the big Dominican"s sixth longball of the season, his first in Japanese baseball.

Later in the fourth, Dragons catcher Keiji Oyama clubbed a run-scoring double and Oyama also hit a two-run single in the top of the sixth to give him three RBIs on the night.

"We got off to a good start offensively tonight and our fielders turned a lot of double plays early, so that helped Greisinger out and kept the game under control," said Giants skipper Tatsunori Hara, whose club has now won its last three games.

The front-running Giants improved to 19-9-2 with the victory, while Chunichi fell to 14-16 with the loss. The two teams hook up again Saturday night then Sunday afternoon, both days at Tokyo Dome.


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