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Rob Smaal

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Giants' Kamei continues to swing hot bat

by Rob Smaal (Aug 10, 2009)

Yoshiyuki Kamei continued to swing a hot bat for the Giants on Sunday, cracking a two-run home run in the seventh inning that gave Yomiuri a 2-0 win over the Yakult Swallows and a three-game sweep of their crosstown rivals.

Kamei's blast to right off Yoshinori Sato was his fourth home run over the Giants' last five games. On Saturday, Kamei belted a game-winning solo homer in the 10th inning that gave Central League-leading Yomiuri a 2-1 win over the fading Swallows.

"It's a great feeling to play a part in these victories," said Kamei, who now has 17 homers this season.

"I can't really explain it," he added, when asked to account for his recent home-run binge. "Somehow I'm just hitting home runs at the right time. I only hope my luck continues."

Kamei's big blast made a winner of reliever Daisuke Ochi (6-2), who worked 1 1/3 hitless innings in relief of starter Hisanori Takahashi.

Closer Marc Kroon pitched the ninth to get the save, his 13th of the season, despite giving up a leadoff single to Norichika Aoki and issuing the only walk of the game. He retired Yakult cleanup-hitter Jamie D'Antona on a towering fly to right, induced veteran Shinya Miyamoto to hit into a fielder's choice and eventually got Swallows catcher Ryoji Aikawa on a groundout to third to end it.

Left-hander Takahashi tossed 6 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball but did not figure in the decision. He gave up seven hits while striking out five.

Swallows starter Sato (5-6) ended up taking the loss. Sato worked seven solid innings, allowing just two runs on six hits, including Kamei's home run. The hard-throwing young right-hander struck out seven.

The Giants nearly put a run on the board in the sixth, but a perfect throw home by Yakult outfielder Aoki on a Hayato Sakamoto liner to center gunned down Yomiuri speedster Takahiro Suzuki as he attempted to score from second.

Kamei and Alex Ramirez, with two hits apiece, were the only Giants with multi-hit games as the Swallows out-hit their hosts 8-6 on the afternoon. Aoki was the only Yakult player to register more than one hit with a pair of singles.

The Giants boosted their record to 56-32-8 this season while the third-placed Swallows fell 7 1/2 games back with a 50-41-0 mark. The second-place Chunichi Dragons were scheduled to face the BayStars in Yokohama in a night game later Sunday.

The Giants now head to Hiroshima for a three-game set against the Carp while Yakult hosts the BayStars.


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