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Rob Smaal

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Kishi hurls gem, Leos take down Swallows

by Rob Smaal (May 19, 2010)

Right-handers Takayuki Kishi and Shohei Tateyama staged a good, old-fashioned pitchers' duel Tuesday night at Omiya Stadium, with Kishi and his Lions coming out on top.

Pacific League leaders Seibu continued to play solid baseball, getting a clutch sixth-inning RBI single from Dee Brown as they edged Central League doormats the Yakult Swallows 1-0 to improve to 4-1 in interleague play.

Kishi was the man on Tuesday, although the 25-year-old still looks more like a kid. An unimposing figure listed at 68 kilograms in the media guide, Kishi kept the Swallows at bay with an array of 145-kph-plus fastballs mixed with an effective curveball that would clock in in the 109-112 kph range.

He went eight scoreless innings to improve to 7-1 on the year, allowing just three hits while striking out six in his 124-pitch outing.

Closer Brian Sikorski took it from there, allowing a single to Norichika Aoki in the ninth before striking out Aaron Guiel and Shinichi Takeuchi to earn his 15th save of 2010.

"Kishi is amazing," said Brown. "He's a great pitcher."

The Lions broke the scoreless deadlock in the sixth. After consecutive one-out singles by Hiroyuki Nakajima and Takeya Nakamura, designated-hitter Brown lined an RBI single to right to score Nakajima from second. Nakamura was thrown out trying to reach third on the play, while Brown advanced to second on the throw to third.

"I had a couple of opportunities earlier in the game but I was happy I came through in that situation," said Brown, in his first year in Japan. "It felt good because (Tateyama) was pitching well. I just want to keep it going."

Tateyama (2-2), a 16-game winner a year ago who has been bothered by a sore elbow this season, gave Swallows manager Shigeru Takada a very solid seven innings Tuesday as he suffered the loss.

Tateyama allowed one run on nine hits and a walk.

The Lions improved to 29-17 with the victory.

The Swallows, a playoff team a season ago, are struggling mightily this year, particularly on offense.

The club lost its last five games of April and has won only two games this month for an overall record of 13-28-1, good for last place in the Central League.

Elsewhere in Tuesday interleague action, the Nippon-Ham Fighters pounded their one-time venue-mates the Yomiuri Giants 7-1 at Sapporo Dome.

At Kyocera Dome, the Orix Buffaloes stampeded the Hiroshima Carp 11-2.

At Chiba Marine Stadium, Lotte defeated the Chunichi Dragons 4-2.


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