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Rob Smaal

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New fish thwarts BayStars

by Rob Smaal (Jul 6, 2009)

Andy Phillips drove in four runs for the Hiroshima Carp on Sunday afternoon, but it might be the play he didn't make that he remembers most about this game.

Phillips, a former New York Yankee, smacked his second home run since joining the Carp less than a week ago, a three-run shot to left field off Yokohama starter Tom Mastny in the top of the third inning that gave Hiroshima a 3-0 lead and set them on their way to a 6-4 win over the BayStars.

Phillips would add a sacrifice fly later in the game, but not before his fielding gaffe on a routine fly ball in left field would lead to a Yokohama run.

"His legitimate position is third base," said Carp skipper Marty Brown. "With the Yankees he played some first base for (Jason) Giambi. He hasn't been in the outfield that much--he's a good athlete, he's just got to get used to it."

Phillips' efforts in the batter's box helped make a winner of left-hander Takahiro Aoki, who picked up his first win of the season. Aoki (1-2) gave up just two hits--a single by Yuki Yoshimura to lead off the first inning and a two-run homer by Shuichi Murata--over five frames as he allowed two earned runs.

Mastny (0-3) took the loss as he gave up five runs on six hits--including two home runs--and five walks in 4 1/3 innings.

After Phillips got the ball rolling in the third, Shigenobu Shima made it 4-0 an inning later with a solo shot off Mastny to right.

In the bottom of the fourth, Murata, the two-time defending Central League home run champion, hit his 15th longball of the year, a two-run blast to left-center off Aoki.

The teams traded runs in the fifth. In the top half, Mastny loaded the bases on three walks and BayStars manager Tomio Tashiro brought in 46-year-old veteran reliever Kimiyasu Kudo to face Shima, who drilled a sacrifice fly to center field to plate a run.

Then came the error by left-fielder Phillips in the bottom of the fifth. The speedy Takehiro Ishikawa hammered a line drive out to left that Phillips had measured, however the ball glanced off his glove and flew past him out to the warning track and Ishikawa motored around to third. Pinch-hitter Hiroaki Onishi then grounded out to short, driving in a run in the process.

Closer Katsuhiro Nagakawa nailed down the victory in the bottom of the ninth.

He gave up one hit but picked up his 22nd save of the season when third-baseman Scott McClain made a diving stab on a line drive off the bat of Ishikawa to end it.


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