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Rob Smaal

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Uchikawa, BayStars pummel Swallows

by Rob Smaal (Aug 14, 2009)

Veteran right-hander Daisuke Miura put on another masterful performance against the Swallows and Seiichi Uchikawa got it done with the bat for the second straight night as the Yokohama BayStars pounded Yakult 13-2 Thursday, taking two out of three at Jingu Stadium.

Miura (9-7) held the Swallows to two runs--just one earned--over the distance. He allowed six hits while striking out seven and walking one in a 140-pitch outing. The only runs the Swallows could muster came in the fifth inning, when shortstop Takehiro Ishikawa dropped a two-out pop fly off the bat of pinch-hitter Shinichi Takeuchi that allowed Ryoji Aikawa to score from first, and in the eighth, when Norichika Aoki beat out an infield RBI single that also followed a Yokohama fielding error.

Miura, who on Aug. 5 beat the Swallows 8-3 in Yokohama on a 141-pitch complete-game effort, also drove in a run with an RBI single in the second inning to help his own cause Thursday.

One night after being the BayStars' savior with an extra-innings home run to win it, Uchikawa once again came through at the dish. On Thursday, Uchikawa stroked an RBI single in the top of the first inning off Yakult starter Shun Takaichi to get things started before connecting for a bases-loaded two-run line single to center in a four-run second off reliever Jun Hagiwara. He capped off his three-hit, four-RBI evening with a solo home run to left to lead off the sixth against Lee Hye Chun.

Dan Johnson, batting cleanup and playing third base for the BayStars due to an injury to Shuichi Murata, had three hits on the night, including an RBI single to right in the fifth that made it 5-0. Ishikawa also had three of Yokohama's 21 hits on the night while leadoff-hitter Tatsuya Shimozono was 2-for-5 with a pair of RBIs and a walk.

Noriharu Yamasaki put the final touches on the drubbing when he smoked a three-run homer off Yuya Kamada in the ninth.

Although the Swallows could get nothing going against Miura, the BayStars batters were having their way with the Yakult pitchers. A fifth-inning bases-loaded double by Shimozono off Hagiwara accounted for two runs.

Lee got lit up as well an inning later. The South Korean lefty gave up three runs on six hits--including Uchikawa's 14th homer of the season and RBI singles by Yuuki Yoshimura and Takeshi Hosoyamada--in one inning of work.

Takaichi (0-1) took the loss, lasting just 1 1/3 innings while allowing four runs on five hits and a walk. Hagiwara's line: three runs allowed on eight hits and a pair of walks over 3 2/3 innings.

Keizo Kawashima had three of the six hits allowed by Miura and Aoki singled twice.

The Swallows and BayStars split the first two games of the series, which both went to extra innings. Yakult took Tuesday's opener 5-4, courtesy of an RBI single in the bottom of the 11th off the bat of Aoki.

On Wednesday, Uchikawa nailed a solo homer in the top of the 12th to give the BayStars a 4-3 victory. It was a costly loss for the Swallows. In the third inning, first-baseman Jamie D'Antona left the game with a hamstring injury after stretching for a throw from third to make the final out of the inning. He is expected to miss about three weeks.

D'Antona, hitting cleanup in his first season in Japan, is leading Yakult in home runs (19) and RBIs (69) while batting .298. In July, he was named the Central League's Offensive Player of the Month after hitting .416 for the month.

Elsewhere, the Chunichi Dragons beat the Hanshin Tigers 9-2 at Kyocera Dome.


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