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Rob Smaal

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Swallows clobber Marines

by Rob Smaal (Jun 18, 2009)

In an interleague battle between two clubs who recently updated a couple of NPB offensive records, the Swallows got two-run homers from four different players and Yoshinori Sato took care of things on the mound as Yakult battered the Chiba Lotte Marines 10-1.

Norichika Aoki, Jamie D'Antona, Ryoji Aikawa and Shinichi Takeuchi all provided their share of run support by going yard with a man on Wednesday night at Tokyo's Jingu Stadium.

Aoki knocked in a run in the bottom of the first inning on a groundout to second, and added a two-run homer two innings later off Lotte starter Yoshihisa Naruse to start the Swallows down the road to victory.

D'Antona socked a two-run homer of his own in the sixth, an opposite-field bomb to right off Taiki Nakago one batter after Aoki had smacked a line single off the Marines' reliever. It was D'Antona's ninth dinger of the season, tying him with teammate Aaron Guiel for the team lead.

In the eighth, it was Aikawa's turn to whack a two-run tater, his coming off right-hander Tadahiro Ogino after veteran Shinya Miyamoto had singled. Not to be outdone, pinch-hitter Takeuchi also ripped a two-run homer in the four-run eighth.

Sato (3-4) worked six scoreless innings to pick up the win. The 20-year-old right-hander allowed five hits, issued three walks and whiffed seven. The Swallows turned three double plays behind him.

Kenichi Matsuoka, Ryota Igarashi and Jun Hagiwara worked an inning each in relief to nail down the victory.

Left-hander Naruse (4-3) lasted four frames for Bobby Valentine's club, giving up three runs on three hits, including Aoki's home run. He walked one and struck out five in taking the loss.

The Marines got on the board in the seventh when Toshiaki Imae lined an RBI single to right off reliever Matsuoka, scoring Saburo Omura who had singled earlier in the inning.

Hiroyasu Tanaka singled in Yakult's sixth run in the seventh off Yoshihiro Ito.

Last Thursday, the Marines set an NPB record with a 15-run inning in a 23-2 win over the Hiroshima Carp in Chiba. Three days later, the Swallows added their entry to the NPB record book when they hit safely in 11 consecutive at-bats in a 10-run fifth in a 14-10 victory over the Orix Buffaloes in Osaka.

The Swallows, who started the night 3 1/2 games behind the front-running Yomiuri Giants in the Central League, improved to 33-22-0 on the year, and 12-9-0 in interleague play.

The Marines, meanwhile, fell to 25-30-3 in the Pacific League, 8-10-3 against CL clubs.


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