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Miura dominates Dragons

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Miura dominates Dragons

by Jim Allen (May 3, 2009)

If any team needs a fresh start, it's the Yokohama BayStars. On Saturday, ace Daisuke Miura gave them a chance to get back on track.

Miura allowed four hits in eight innings as last-place Yokohama beat the Chunichi Dragons 6-1 before 21,080 at Yokohama Stadium.

The right-hander left the game after being struck on the leg on the final play of the eighth inning. Miura (3-2), who didn't allow a hit until the fifth, struck out six, walked two and hit a batter.

"You go out trying to finish and I expected to do that, considering the run difference," Miura said. "I didn't expect to get hit, however."

Dragons right-hander Daisuke Yamai (0-1) allowed five runs in four innings to take the loss.

The BayStars, who finished April by blowing a two-run, ninth-inning lead two days before against the Hanshin Tigers, returned to Yokohama where they had lost eight of their first 11 home games.

"It's May now," said skipper Akihiko Oya. "The other day we lost a tough one at Koshien. But it's a different month, a different park.

"We hadn't played well here, and we talked about that in the meeting. We started the season in a hole, going 0-6, but we're making progress.

"Miura was sharp today and the young guys played their hearts out."

The BayStars opened the scoring in the bottom of the first on Seiichi Uchikawa's solo homer.

A second-inning leadoff walk and a bone-jarring slide by Dan Johnson to take out the second baseman on a possible double play helped set up a two-out double by rookie catcher Takeshi Hosoyamada that made it 2-0.

"Getting the early lead and then adding to it allowed me to just go on the attack," Miura said. "Some pitches were getting away from me early, but they found good spots so you can say I caught some breaks.

"We [the catcher and I] had some confusion with the signs early on, but we talked it over and moved on. It doesn't matter if he's a rookie, because we have a job to do. He's learning, but he's also putting in his opinion and I'm learning, too."

The hosts broke the game open in the fourth.

Johnson, whose walk started the second, opened the three-run fourth with a nine-pitch walk. Yuki Yoshimura drove Yamai's next pitch for a double and scored on Yuta Naito's single. A sacrifice and a groundout put Naito on third, from where he scored on Yamai's Central League-leading fourth wild pitch.

The Dragons had their first hit of the game when Atsushi Fujii led off with his fifth home run.

Hosoyamada doubled and scored on an error as the Dragons defense buckled in the sixth inning behind right-handed reliever Maximo Nelson.

The rookie hit a fly to the wall in right and Fujii misplayed it in the wind, gifting Hosoyamada with his second double of the game and his fourth of the year. He advanced to third on Miura's deep fly to right and scored when second baseman Masahiro Araki fumbled a grounder.

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