Rookie pitcher Shigeru Kaga picked up his first career win Sunday afternoon, and he can thank batterymate Shingo Takeyama for that.
Kaga (1-2) restricted Yakult to just one run on six hits over five innings and catcher Takeyama helped out with a two-run triple as the Yokohama BayStars held off the Swallows 5-3 in a Central League tussle.
"I really wanted to do something to help Kaga (get his first win)," said Takeyama, who went 2-for-4 on the day. "He was really pitching well and I'm glad I could help him."
With the win, the Stars took two out of three from Yakult in the series and got into double-digits in wins as they improved to 10-15 on the season. The Swallows are now 11-14-1.
The only run Kaga allowed was on a solo homer to right in the fourth inning by Aaron Guiel, who had two bombs on the day and now leads the league with nine.
"It's always nice to hit home runs, but if the team doesn't win it doesn't mean that much," Guiel said.
Swallows left-hander Kyohei Muranaka (2-3) took the loss. He was charged with five runs--three earned--over six innings. He allowed eight hits and struck out eight, including all three hitters he faced in the second inning and two in the third.
After Guiel had given the Swallows the lead in the top of the fourth, Yokohama struck right back in the home half of the frame. Seiichi Uchikawa led off with a double and Terrmel Sledge cashed him in when he lined an RBI single to left off Muranaka to make it a 1-1 ballgame. After Muranaka struck out Jose Castillo, Yuki Yoshimura singled to put two men on, setting the table for Takeyama, who laced a triple into the gap in right-center to score two more runs.
"That was a tough young pitcher we faced today," said Sledge, in reference to Muranaka. "I was just trying to get that (first) run in any way we could."
In the sixth inning, Castillo hammered an RBI double to right-center and Yoshimura hit a sacrifice fly to right to make it 5-1.
In the seventh, Yakult shortstop Ryosuke Morioka singled in a run up the middle off reliever Shintaro Ejiri and Guiel hit his second homer of the day to right in the top of the eighth off Shigeki Ushida to make it 5-3, but that was as close as the Swallows would get.
Shun Yamaguchi worked the final 1 1/3 scoreless innings for Yokohama to pick up his sixth save of 2010.