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Under his wing …

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Under his wing …

Sharp Muranaka helps Swallows slow Giants

Kyohei Muranaka hasn’t been in form this season, but his teammates were certainly ready to stick a feather his cap after a stellar performance that beat the Yomiuri Giants on Sunday at Tokyo Dome.

The lefty (6-5) hadn’t won a game since July 15, but he held the Central League front-runners to one run over 6.1 innings of a 6-1 victory that helped the Swallows avoid a sweep.

The oft-injured Muranaka was making his 17th start this season, and had drawn the ire from skipper Junji Ogawa after getting bombed for 11 earned runs in a July 25 loss to the Hiroshima Carp. But he held the Giants to four hits, while walking two and fanning three, to lower his ERA to 4.61.

He also drew a bases-loaded walk from second-year righty Ryosuke Miyaguni (3-2) for his first RBI since Aug. 24, 2010.

Shingo Kawabata had his third career four-hit game and two RBIs to back Muranaka, and Tsuyoshi Ueda added a pair of hits and an RBI.


Ryota Arai had three hits, including his seventh homer, and two RBIs, and older brother Takahiro Arai also went deep [the second time they’ve hit homers in the same game this season], and added three RBIs as host Hanshin broke its eight-game skid by thumping Hiroshima.

Randy Messenger (6-9) took advantage of the first game of more than two runs for the Tigers since Aug. 4.


Randy Ruiz and Alex Ramirez hit solo shots and Norihiro Nakamura’s seventh-inning sac fly helped host Yokohama overcome a 6-3 deficit and beat Chunichi.

Sho Aranami had four hits to help offset 17 hits by the Dragons.



Takahiro “T.O.” Okada had two RBI singles, and [JBW guest this week] Bobby Scales homered and singled to help power Orix past Lotte at The Q.

Recent addition Alessandro Maestri was the beneficiary of a season-high 16-hit attack, working 6.1 innings of one-run ball to win in his Japan debut. He allowed four hits, a walk and a hit batter with five Ks.


Jose Ortiz homered twice and added a single for three RBIs, and Shogo Akiyama had two hits and an RBI to lead Seibu past Nippon Ham at Seibu Dome.

Rookie righty Ken Togame (2-0) picked up the win with 1.2 perfect innings in relief of Kazuhisa Ishii, who struggled to protect an early lead.


Masahiro Tanaka allowed 12 hits over eight innings, but Akihisa Makida and Ryo Hijirisawa knocked in runs off the previously untouchable Masahiko Morifuku in a ninth-inning rally as Rakuten scrambled to earn a tie against SoftBank at FYJ Dome.

Wily Mo Pena had three hits and two RBIs, and rookie starter Shota Takeda held the Eagles to a run over five-plus innings but saw his potential win erased.


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